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PERC 2015 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Student Metacognitive Knowledge about Salient Distracting Features in Physics Problems
Abstract: Student reasoning on physics problems is often context dependent, and students may reason very differently when answering analogous questions targeting the same concept. A possible explanation is that salient distracting features (SDFs) in physics problems may cue students' "spontaneous" reasoning.  Students often accept this cued reasoning without question, even though it may be unproductive and preclude the use of relevant knowledge.  Research suggests that strengthening students' metacognitive skills may help address these difficulties, although little work has focused on the role that metacognitive knowledge can play in student reasoning. This paper describes preliminary results from an interview-based instructional intervention aimed not only at developing students' metacognitive knowledge of SDFs and the role SDFs may play in cueing reasoning but also how this knowledge can be applied. Preliminary results suggest students are able to identify SDFs and associated reasoning in physics problems, but struggle to recognize the productiveness of this endeavor.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Thanh K. Le
University of Maine
and Co-Presenter(s)
MacKenzie R. Stetzer,
Jonathan T. Shemwell

University of Maine