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Abstract Title: Judgments of physics problem difficulty by experts and novices
Abstract: The ability to judge the difficulty of physics problems has implications for both exam preparation and performance.  Previous research has shown that students spend more time studying problems they judge as more difficult, but this strategy is effective only when these judgments match the normative difficulty of the questions. Little is known about how accurate instructors and students are at judging problem difficulty.  We present data from two experiments where physics experts and introductory physics students predict which question of a pair taken from real exams is more difficult for the "typical student."  In the first experiment we analyze whether the rationales given by physics experts are predictive of accurate judgments.  In the second experiment we compare the accuracy of experts and novices in their judgments. We discuss the educational implications of our findings.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Witat Fakcharoenphol
Faculty of Education and Development Science, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus, Thailand
and Co-Presenter(s)
Jason W. Morphew, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Educational Psychology

Jose P. Mestre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Departments of Educational Psychology and Phyiscs