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PERC 2009 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: What Do Seniors Remember from Freshman Physics?
Abstract: We have given a group of 56 MIT Seniors who took mechanics as Freshmen a written test similar to the final they took at that time, plus the MBT and C-LASS standard instruments. Students unlikely to have reviewed the material in the interim scored half as well as they did as Freshmen on the written part of the test. Their facility with energy and kinematics was comparable to D-level Freshmen. They were less able than D-level Freshmen to construct simultaneous equations describing a dynamics problem, but more able to recognize a two-stage problem and develop subgoals. Their mean score on the MBT was essentially unchanged from the post-test taken as Freshmen, though there were significant shifts in responses to ten of 26 questions. Attitudinal surveys indicate that half the Seniors believe the mechanics course content will be useful to them, while the vast majority believe physics teaches valuable problem solving skills.
Abstract Type: Targeted Poster
Targeted Session: Foundations of Course Reform for Introductory Physics

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Analia Barrantes
and Co-Presenter(s)
Andrew Pawl and David E. Pritchard, MIT