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Abstract Title: Students’ responses to different representations of a vector addition question
Abstract: Students use multiple methods to add vectors graphically [1], some of them leading to correct solutions, some of them not. We discuss students' responses to four different representations of a single graphical vector addition question, designed to elicit different solution methods. These four questions have vectors arranged in either a head-to-tail or a tail-to-tail orientation and either with and without a grid. These questions were administered to several hundred students at two different universities. We present the prevalence of different methods in students' responses on the four different types of questions. Furthermore, we describe the types of language they used as well as inconsistencies between students' explanations and drawings.

[1] J. M. Hawkins, J. R. Thompson, and M. C. Wittmann, AIP Conf. Proc. 1179, 161 (2009)
Supported in part by NSF Grants REC-0633951
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jeffrey M. Hawkins
The University of Maine
120 Bennett Hall
Orono, ME 04469-5709
Phone: 2075706067
and Co-Presenter(s)
Michael C. Wittmann, The University of Maine
John R. Thompson, The University of Maine
Eleanor C. Sayre, Wabash College
Jessica W. Clark, Rochester Institute of Technology