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Abstract Title: How does applying the Gestalt grouping principle on the display design influence students’ reasoning?
Abstract: Previous studies have investigated the role of correct and incorrect patterns of reasoning in problem solving in physics, which show that the students' responses are influenced by their prior knowledge and past experience. In this study we investigate how manipulating display design may affect students' attention to the relevant information on the diagram via a bottom-up process. We have manipulated the perceptual saliency of the visual features of the problem diagram based on the Gestalt principle of grouping. The manipulation aims to facilitate the selection and integration of the relevant information from the problem diagram. We have used the similarity principle to enhance the relevant areas on the diagrams by grouping similar visual elements using shape, color, size and orientation. We interviewed students in an algebra-based physics class. We discuss the effect of bottom-up processes on students' reasoning in both Gestalt and non-Gestalt versions of the problems.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Bahar Modir
Kansas State University
116 Cardwell Hall
Department of Physics
Manhattan, KS 66506
and Co-Presenter(s)
Elise Agra, Kansas State University
John Hutson, Kansas State University
Lester C. Loschky, Kansas State University
N. Sanjay Rebello, Kansas State University