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Abstract Title: Types of explanations introductory students use to explain their answers to conceptual physics questions
Abstract: In order to investigate student ability to use--and communicate--correct and complete reasoning, we examine written explanations from students in introductory university physics courses who have been prompted to "explain their reasoning." Rather than focusing on context-specific reasoning difficulties, we examine the commonalities across multiple physics content contexts in what, to students, may constitute satisfying explanations, paying attention to what is present beyond what might score points on an instructor's rubric. We present six different types of explanations with examples that illustrate the breadth of student responses. This broad view of student explanations has the potential to guide instruction aimed at the development of student explanation and argumentation skills in ways that leverage and are responsive to how students initially explain their reasoning.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A68
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Anne T Alesandrini
University of Washington
University of Washington
Department of Physics
Seattle, WA 98195-1560
Phone: 2062188331
and Co-Presenter(s)
Paula R. L. Heron, University of Washington