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Abstract Title: Rigging your Card Games – Differentiating Expert from Novice
Abstract: The ability to distinguish experts from novices by any instrument is highly sensitive to the questions being posed.  But what features must a set of questions have to do a good job of distinguishing experts from novices?  To answer this question, we re-examine the seminal study by Chi et al., which firmly established the notion that novices categorize physics problems by "surface features" (e.g. "incline," "pendulum," "projectile motion," ...), while experts use "deep structure" (e.g., "energy conservation," "Newton 2," ...). We studied the categorizations of known physics experts and novices using a set of 50 introductory physics problems.  A novel statistical approach allowed us to compare any two categorizations on the basis of problem identity alone.  Then, by applying this method repeatedly to small subsets of our original 50 problem set we determined how accurately we could classify experts and novices based on the pedagogical and contextual features of the questions being posed.  We found that the number of questions required to accurately classify experts and novices could be surprisingly small so long as particular pedagogical and contextual features were present.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Steven Wolf
Michigan State University
35 E. Holmes Hall
Lyman Briggs College
East Lansing, MI 48825
and Co-Presenter(s)
Daniel Dougherty, Gerd Kortemeyer

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster