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Abstract Title: Using similarity ratings surveys to assess deep-structure feature emphasis during problem comparison
Abstract: Effective problem solvers are often capable of distinguishing deep-structure similarities and differences between problems (Chi et. al., 1981; Jonassen, 2000).  A pilot study conducted in the spring of 2010 provided further evidence that compare and contrast activities implemented in weekly homework assignments over a semester-long, introductory algebra-based physics course facilitated students emphasis on deep-structure details between problems.  This study also revealed a direct correlation between deep-structure emphasis and physical content (e.g., simple harmonic motion, DC circuits). To evaluate the emphasis students placed in deep-structure features, students completed pre- and post- similarity ratings surveys.  A continuation study was completed in the spring of 2011 using a similar in-class treatment, but with different content coverage in the post-treatment surveys.  We will report on the pre- and post-treatment similarity ratings for both studies, and the resultant implications.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Frances Mateycik
Penn State Altoona
3000 Ivyside Dr. 146 LRC
Altoona, PA 16601
Phone: 2032093637
and Co-Presenter(s)
Kendra E. Sheaffer
Penn State Altoona
kes5246 -at- psu.edu