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Abstract Title: Using inconsistencies in survey question responses to identify resources
Abstract: As part of a larger project to investigate teacher and student reasoning about energy at the middle school level, we developed a multiple-choice survey that was answered by over 1000 students. Some of the questions were very similar to each other in terms of the physics, but the contexts were slightly different and students answered inconsistently. To understand their inconsistencies, we attended to the context of each question and looked for the differences that might influence student thinking. In the case of energy being "used up" due to dissipation, for example, we found that students thought differently about energy flow to the air or the ground. Analyzing the inconsistencies in student responses, in particular when comparing and contrasting seemingly similar questions, may help both researchers and teachers listen for ideas, target instruction, and recognize learning more effectively.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Parallel Session: Identifying Conceptual Resources for Understanding Physics
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster II

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Michael C. Wittmann
University of Maine
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Carolina Alvarado, California State University Chico