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Abstract Title: Introductory student interpretation of validity checks of expressions: Different analytical perspectives
Abstract: One expected student outcome of physics instruction is a set of quantitative reasoning skills that include evaluation of problem solutions, whether expressions or numerical results. We explored students' conceptions of and competence with conducting validity checks by asking how they would check whether an expression for the speed of a block on a ramp with friction was reasonable. Results from 214 written responses and 12 interviews suggest a mismatch between how students framed the task and researchers' expectations. Prevalent approaches included re-deriving the expression from initial conditions or seeking consistency with external sources rather than pursuing an internal, logical consistency. We categorize student approaches to the task and interpret the data through frameworks used to analyze problem solving as well as through epistemic games, and compare the results.

Footnote: Supported in part by NSF Grant PHY-1405726
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A2

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Abolaji Akinyemi
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Maine, Orono
18 Gym Drive
ORONO, ME 04469
Phone: 2075811022
and Co-Presenter(s)
Dr. John R. Thompson
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Maine, Orono