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Abstract Title: Explicitly Prompting Covariational Reasoning in a Thermodynamics Context
Abstract: Making sense of the relationships between interdependent variables is a skill that physics experts have, and students must be taught. As part of this instruction, we ran an in-class activity in the junior-level thermodynamics course at Oregon State University. The students worked in groups, and were provided contour maps and plastic models representing thermodynamic states of water vapor. We consider two sequential prompts from the activity. The focus of our research is when and why the students chose to use a particular representation in response to the prompts, and how the prompts elicited covariational reasoning. We find that the students preferred representations that were more straightforward to interpret. Further, we find that the prompts elicited some direct statements about the codependent nature of thermodynamic variables.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session III
Poster Number: C43

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jonathan Alfson
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR Phone: 4802975692
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Paul J. Emigh, Oregon State University
Reese R. Siegel, Oregon State University
Aaron Wangberg, Winona State University
Robyn Wangberg, St. Mary's University of Minnesota
Elizabeth Gire, Oregon State University