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Abstract Title: What Do Students Learn about Work in Physical and Virtual Experiments with Inclined Planes?
Abstract: In previous studies, we have reported a difference in how students' understanding of the physics definition of work in the context of simple machines is supported by performing experiments with physical and virtual manipulatives. We have shown that students who used the virtual manipulative (a computer simulation) before performing a physical experiment more frequently provided the correct response to multiple-choice questions about work.  In this paper, we further analyze students responses to a series of questions about work in the context of inclined planes to explore the models students used to answer the questions.  While it is possible that students who performed the physical experiment were getting penalized on the multiple-choice questions for answering in accordance with their observations (i.e. a longer ramp requires more work due to frictional effects), we actually observe students more frequently using an alternate model that a longer ramp requires less work.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster

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Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jacquelyn J. Chini
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd.
Physics Department
Orlando, FL 32816
Phone: 407-823-3607
and Co-Presenter(s)
Adrian Madsen, Kansas State University
N. Sanjay Rebello, Kansas State University
Sadhana Puntambekar, University of Wisconsin, Madison