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PERC 2011 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Partial correctness, asymmetries, and hierarchies in understanding force and motion
Abstract: We summarize results from a valid and reliable instrument we have developed to probe student conceptual understanding of the relationships between the directions of net force, velocity, and acceleration in one dimension. There were three main findings. First, a significant fraction of students chose partially-correct responses, and from pre- to post-test, many students moved from misconception to partially correct responses or from partially-correct to fully correct responses. Second, there were asymmetries in responding to conditional relations. For example, students answered questions of the form "Given the velocity, what can be inferred about the net force?" differently than converse questions "Given the net force, what can be inferred about the velocity?" Third, there were hierarchies in student responses, suggesting for example that understanding the relation between velocity and acceleration is necessary for understanding the relation between velocity and force. Finally, we discuss how these findings might be applied to instruction.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Rebecca Rosenblatt
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43214
Phone: 6144609502
and Co-Presenter(s)
Andrew F. Heckler - The Ohio State University