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written by Andrew J. Mason
Reflection is essential to learn from problem solving. This thesis explores issues related to how reflective physics students are about problem solving and how to improve their capacity for reflection on problem solving. We evaluate strategies that teach reflection as an integral component of problem-solving. We find a large overlap between introductory and graduate students in their ability to categorize based upon similarity of solution. Introductory students in calculus-based courses performed better categorization than those in algebra-based courses. Other investigations explored if reflection could be taught as a skill on individual and group levels. Explicit self-diagnosis in recitation investigated how effectively students could diagnose their own errors on difficult problems, how much scaffolding was necessary for this purpose, and how effective transfer was to other problems employing similar principles. Difficulty applying physical principles and differences between self-diagnosed and transfer problems affected performance. We concluded a sustained intervention is required to learn effective problem-solving strategies. Another study suggests those who reflected with peers on problem solving drew more diagrams and had a larger gain from the midterm to final exam. Another study involved giving common problems in quantum mechanics midterm and final exams and suggested advanced students do not automatically reflect on mistakes. Interviews revealed even advanced students often focus mostly on exams rather than their knowledge structure. A survey was developed to evaluate students' attitudes and approaches towards problem solving. The survey responses suggest introductory and graduate students have different attitudes and approaches to problem solving on several important measures compared to faculty. Responses to individual questions suggest expert and novice attitudes and approaches to problem solving may be more complex than naively considered.
University: University of Pittsburgh
Academic Department:  Department of Physics and Astronomy
Pages 283
View the key document related to this resource
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Instruments
- Behavior
- Learning Theory
= Transfer
- Problem Solving
= Expert-Novice Comparisons
= Metacognition
- Student Characteristics
= Skills
- Lower Undergraduate
- Graduate/Professional
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Thesis/Dissertation
PER-Central Types Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Thesis/Dissertation
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Formats:
application/pdf
non-digital
Mirror:
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/8086/
Mirror:
http://groups.physics.umn.edu/phy…
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2009 Andrew J. Mason
Type:
Ph.D. Dissertation
NSF Number:
0442087
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created April 30, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
May 9, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
July 7, 2009
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Record Link
AIP Format
A. Mason, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 2009, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11908&DocID=2772).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Mason, Reflection on Problem Solving in Introductory and Advanced Physics, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 2009, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11908&DocID=2772>.
APA Format
Mason, A. (2009, July 7). Reflection on Problem Solving in Introductory and Advanced Physics (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 2009). Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11908&DocID=2772
Chicago Format
Mason, Andrew. "Reflection on Problem Solving in Introductory and Advanced Physics." Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 2009. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11908&DocID=2772 (accessed 25 October 2014).
MLA Format
Mason, Andrew. "Reflection on Problem Solving in Introductory and Advanced Physics." Ph.D. Dissertation. 7 July 2009. University of Pittsburgh, 2009. 25 Oct. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11908&DocID=2772>.
BibTeX Export Format
@phdthesis{ Author = "Andrew Mason", Title = {Reflection on Problem Solving in Introductory and Advanced Physics}, School = {University of Pittsburgh}, Type = {Ph.D. Dissertation}, Month = {July}, Year = {2009} }
Refer Export Format

%A Andrew Mason
%T Reflection on Problem Solving in Introductory and Advanced Physics
%R Ph.D. Dissertation
%D July 7, 2009
%P 283
%I University of Pittsburgh
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11908&DocID=2772
%O Department of Physics and Astronomy
%O application/pdf
%O Ph.D. Dissertation

EndNote Export Format

%0 Thesis
%A Mason, Andrew
%D July 7, 2009
%T Reflection on Problem Solving in Introductory and Advanced Physics
%B Department of Physics and Astronomy
%I University of Pittsburgh
%P 283
%8 July 7, 2009
%9 Ph.D. Dissertation
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11908&DocID=2772


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The AJP/PRST-PER presented is based on the AIP Style with the addition of journal article titles and conference proceeding article titles.

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Reflection on Problem Solving in Introductory and Advanced Physics:

References Key Document Attitudes and Approaches to Problem Solving Survey

The Attitudes and Approaches to Problem Solving Survey, appendix C of Mason's thesis, is provided separately. The expert-like responses are in a password protected file to help ensure their integrity.

To obtain the password, please send a request with your name, email, institution, and a link to a page at your institution that confirms you are an instructor.

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