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Effects of Training Examples on Student Understanding of Force and Motion Documents

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Effects of Training Examples on Student Understanding of Force and Motion 

written by Daniel R. White and Andrew F. Heckler

We examined the effects of simple training tasks on student responses to questions about the relationship between the directions of net force, velocity, and acceleration. Six training conditions were constructed, including a 2x2 design (abstract vs. concrete contexts) x (force-velocity training vs. acceleration-velocity training), a force-acceleration training condition, and a control (no training) condition. We found that the force-velocity and acceleration-velocity training significantly improved scores on both of these question types, but acceleration-velocity showed larger gains on the untrained question type, which is inconsistent with some interpretations of hierarchies of student understanding of force and motion found in previous works. This result implies that some students are learning the multiple relations between the variables that are typically learned in the course of standard instruction, while other students may be "gaming" the simple training tasks and not learning those relations between variables.

Published February 1, 2014
Last Modified January 31, 2014

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