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Abstract Title: Drawing Attention to Details: How sketching and problem-solving frameworks support student thinking
Abstract: Research has suggested scaffolds for problem solving.  In a study with 66 undergraduates, we investigated two: drawing a sketch and prompting a problem-solving framework.  Students completed two optics problems during a recitation section in an introductory calculus-based course.  Participants either received a framework, a sketching prompt, both of these, or neither (control).  One problem involved the quadratic formula, requiring students to select one answer and disregard the other as inappropriate.  Many students incorrectly reported both answers; no control students reported only one quadratic solution.  Providing either scaffold helped students to report only one value (p < 0.01).  The second problem asked students to describe a lens; students who received scaffolds were more likely to report focal length instead of simply writing "convex lens".  The prompts improved precision and accuracy, providing boundaries on what types of solutions were appropriate.  Characteristic solutions for each condition and implications for pedagogy will be shared.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Nicole R. Hallinen
Temple University
1701 N 13th St
Weiss Hall, room 333
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: 2152040195
and Co-Presenter(s)
Zbigniew Dziembowski, Temple University; Nora Newcombe, Temple University