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Abstract Title: Student distinctions between ‘force-of-motion’ and net force in various contexts
Abstract: Incorrect student understanding of the directional relationship between velocity and net force is a well known student difficulty. In addition, we have previously reported that students tend to respond with a different relationship between net force and velocity if they are given the net force and asked about the velocity vs. if they are given the velocity and asked about the net force. Here we report on student responses from a set of contextual situations with varying numbers of forces on an object. In these situations students are asked either about the forces on the object, including the possibility of a 'force of motion', or students are asked to give the direction of the net force. This comparison allows for a better understanding of the students' perceptions of the similarities and differences between net force and 'force-of-motion'. Results indicate that the difficulties students have with 'force of motion' may not be the same as the difficulties that students have with net force and/or that the solution path taken in the two cases is different. Either way, the resources used by students for these net force questions and 'force of motion' questions are different, and considering these differences allows for a better understanding of the nature of the well-known student confusion between net force and velocity.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Rebecca Rosenblatt
Illinois State University
218 Willard Ave.
Bloomington, IL 61701
and Co-Presenter(s)
Andrew Heckler
The Ohio State University