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Abstract Title: Surprise! students don’t do special-case analysis when unaware of it
Abstract: Special-case analysis - setting parameters to special values and checking that the answer is consistent with previously known results or physical intuitions – is a common strategy for reflecting on the correctness and meaning of answers to physics problems. We interviewed eleven calculus-based introductory physics students to learn about their use of such reflection strategies. Six of the students were enrolled in a reformed course where students were prompted to reflect on their homework solutions and five students were in a different course that did not prompt reflection. In the reformed course, checking special cases is specifically suggested in the homework instructions. During the interviews, none of the students performed a special-case analysis or were familiar with the strategy. We suggest that students need explicit instruction on how to do a special-case analysis if they are expected to perform it while reflecting on answers to physics problems.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session III
Poster Number: C43
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: MacKenzie Lenz
Oregon State University
301 Weniger Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: 5036795071
and Co-Presenter(s)
Elizabeth Gire

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster