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Abstract Title: Teaching Assistants’ Reasons for the Design of Problem Solutions for Introductory Physics: Findings
Abstract: As part of a larger study to understand how instructors make teaching decisions, we investigated how graduate teaching assistants (TAs) perceive features of written problem solutions. TAs are an important population to understand; they often provide significant instruction and they also represent the pool of future physics faculty. Twenty-four first-year graduate TAs enrolled in a training course were provided with different instructor solutions for the same physics problem and asked to discuss their preferences for prominent solution features. Preliminary findings reveal that providing a schematic visualization of the problem, listing knowns/unknowns and explaining reasoning in explicit words were the most valued features. Preferences for different features were sometimes in conflict with each other. For example, while the TAs valued solutions where reasoning was explicitly explained, they also valued concise solution. We'll present the reasons behind these preferences and discuss the implications for the professional developments of physics TAs.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Edit Yerushalmi
Weizmann Institute of Science
Weizmann Institute of Science
Rehovot, Israel, Non U.S. 76100
Phone: 972-8-9343743
and Co-Presenter(s)
Shih-Yin Lin, University of Pittsburgh
William Mamudi, Western Michigan University
Charles Henderson, Western Michigan University
Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh