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Abstract Title: A new approach for uncovering student resources with multiple-choice questions
Abstract: The traditional approach to studying student understanding presents a question and uses the student's answer to make inferences about their knowledge.  However, this method doesn't capture the range of possible alternative ideas available to students. We use a new approach, asking students to generate a plausible explanation for every choice of a multiple-choice question, to capture the range of explanations that students can generate. Asking 16 students to provide explanations for all options of a multiple-choice question revealed alternative possibilities for student thinking that wouldn't have been captured if they only provided one solution. The findings show two ways these alternatives can be productive for learning physics: (i) even students who choose the wrong answer can generate the correct explanation and (ii) many incorrect explanations contained elements of correct physical reasoning. We discuss the instructional implications of this multiple-choice questioning approach and of students' alternative ideas.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A42
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Nolan K. Weinlader
University of Pittsburgh
and Co-Presenter(s)
Eric Kuo - University of Pittsburgh
Timothy J. Nokes-Malach - University of Pittsburgh
Benjamin M. Rottman - University of Pittsburgh

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster