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Abstract Title: Comparison between equal signs in students' homework and solution manuals
Abstract: The equals sign has a different conceptual meaning depends on how it is used; this meaning is tied to cultural practices in problem solving in physics. We use symbolic forms to investigate the conceptual and cultural meanings of the equals sign across physics contexts, from textbooks to students' homework and from introductory physics to senior-level quantum. Our categories are causality, assignments, definitional, balancing, and math. With this category, we are able to look for patterns and discern methods used by students' written homework in an upper-level electrostatics course compared to Griffiths' solution manual for the same course. We show that the patterns of equals sign use for students and the solution manual are comparable on comparable problems, but for students' problems that are not drawn from the textbook, other patterns emerge. This suggests that the problem statement affects the patterns of students' equals sign use.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: B26
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dina Zohrabi Alaee
Department of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University, Kansas 66506
Physics Department Kansas State University- 16 Cardwell Hall 1228 N. 17th St.
Manhattan, KS 66502
and Co-Presenter(s)
Eleanor C. Sayre
Department of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University, Kansas 66506

Scott V.Franklin
Department of Physics, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623