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PERC 2015 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Student Understanding of Differentials in Introductory Physics
Abstract: Evidence suggests that a major obstacle to student success in the construction of physics integrals is an inability to formulate and interpret differentials and products involving differentials. To address these issues, we conducted a controlled experiment at the introductory level to help students practice the construction and explore the physical meaning of differentials. This between-students design featured pairs of similarly-styled training tasks that varied by physical context, either on paper without feedback or on a computer with electronic feedback. The training contexts included kinematics (e.g., "Velocity vs. Time"), dynamics (e.g., "Force vs. Position"), gases, and mass densities. A post-test featuring all physical contexts and several transfer questions was given to all conditions. Our results demonstrated that some physical training contexts produced significantly different post-test scores. Furthermore, training conditions featuring electronic feedback yielded significantly higher post-test scores than both the control and several no-feedback conditions.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Nathaniel Amos
Ohio State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Dr. Andrew Heckler