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Abstract Title: Analyzing Students' Sensemaking with Algebraic Inequalities
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: `Doing physics' entails extensive use of mathematical expressions to contain and convey contextual information. Consequently, students' sensemaking on mathematical formalisms has attracted considerable attention in physics education research (PER). As part of a larger project focused on analyzing and developing assessments that promote sensemaking, we explore an introductory student's (pseudonym: Matthew) reasoning on algebraic inequalities while sensemaking about a physics problem.  By qualitatively analyzing Matthew's approach through the frameworks of Sensemaking Epistemic Game and Symbolic Forms, we note his verbal and written references to inequalities while making sense of the problem. The case study highlights the inequality-related arguments 'driving' the student's generation of explanations during sensemaking. In addition, observations from Matthew's case and preliminary findings from other students' references to inequalities reveals a cluster of `comparing' symbolic forms embedding the idea of a quantitative comparison between physical quantities. Findings from the current study shed insights on a lesser explored domain in PER - students association of contextual meaning through algebraic inequalities while reasoning about physics contexts.
Session Time: Poster Session 1
Poster Number: I-18

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Amogh Sirnoorkar
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66502
Phone: 7853177966
and Co-Presenter(s)
James T Laverty