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Abstract Title: Changes to equipotential diagrams to improve student ranking of electric potential
Abstract: Student issues with both understanding electrical potential and difficulties with interpreting diagrams have been well explored. A prior study showed equipotential diagram modifications of line thickness and color significantly increased student gaze times at the diagrams without increasing students' correctness. Students' awareness and understanding of electric charge sign and its role in electric potential is a major issue. An investigation of modifying traditional equipotential diagrams based on theories of visual affordances to improve students' recognition of electric change sign when ranking electric potential was undertaken. In this study different modifications of color and line style were made to equipotential lines to increase visual salience of charge sign. Students were randomly assigned to traditional or modified diagrams and asked to compare electric potentials for indicated points on given diagrams. Pre- and posttest comparisons and the results of student interviews are presented to clarify the specific issues students have reading equipotential diagrams.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: 2.L2
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Raymond Zich
Physics Department Illinois State University
Normal, IL 61790
Phone: 309-438-7009
and Co-Presenter(s)
Rebecca Rosenblatt - AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Amber Sammons - Illinois State University
Andrew Princer - Illinois State University
Jeffrey Rosauer - Illinois State University