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Facilitating Strategies for Solving Work-Energy Problems in Graphical and Equational Representations Documents

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Facilitating Strategies for Solving Work-Energy Problems in Graphical and Equational Representations 

written by Dong-Hai Nguyen, Elizabeth Gire, and N. Sanjay Rebello

Our previous research has suggested that the major difficulty students have when solving physics problems posed in graphical and equational representations is due to students' inability to appropriately activate the required mathematical knowledge in the context of a physics problem. Based on these results, we developed problem sets for each major topic in introductory mechanics. Each set consisted of one or two pairs of matched math and physics problems, debate problems, and problem posing tasks. We conducted focus group learning interviews with two groups of students working in pairs: a treatment group working on our research-based problem sets and a control group solving isomorphic textbook problems on the same topics. We present here a description of one of our problem sets on Work- Energy problems as well as a comparison of the performance of the two groups on transfer problems on Work-Energy involving graphical and equational representations.

Published August 24, 2010
Last Modified October 31, 2010

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