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written by Alexandru Maries and Chandralekha Singh
Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform a problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving the problem. A major focus while helping introductory physics students learn problem solving is to help them appreciate that drawing diagrams facilitates problem solution. We conducted an investigation in which 118 students in an algebra-based introductory physics course were subjected to two different interventions during the problem solving in recitation quizzes throughout the semester. Here, we discuss the problem solving performance of students in different intervention groups for two problems involving standing waves in tubes, one which was given in a quiz and the other in a midterm exam. These problems can be solved using two different methods, one involving a diagrammatic representation and the other involving mostly mathematical manipulation of equations. In the quiz, students were either (1) asked to solve the problem in which a partial diagram was provided or (2) explicitly asked to draw a diagram. A comparison group was not given any instruction regarding diagrams. Students in group (1), who were given the partial diagram, could not use that partial diagram by itself to solve the problem. The partial diagram was simply intended as a hint for students to complete the diagram and follow the diagrammatic approach. However, we find an opposite effect, namely, that students given this diagram were less likely to draw productive diagrams and performed worse than students in the other groups. Moreover, we find that students who drew a productive diagram performed better than those who did not draw a productive diagram even if they primarily used a mathematical approach. Interviews with individual students who were asked to solve the problem provided further insight.
Physics Education Research Conference 2013
Part of the PER Conference Invited Paper series
Portland, OR: July 17-18, 2013
Pages 31-34
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Instructional Material Design
= Problem/Question
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
- Problem Solving
= Heuristics
= Representational Use
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Article
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/perc.20…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2013.inv.006
PACSs:
01.40Fk
01.40.gb
01.40G
Keywords:
PERC 2013, diagrammatic representations, diagrams, problem solving
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created December 19, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
December 20, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 16, 2013
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Record Link
AIP Format
A. Maries and C. Singh, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR, 2013, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13089&DocID=3624).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Maries and C. Singh, A good diagram is valuable despite the choice of a mathematical approach to problem solving, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR, 2013, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13089&DocID=3624>.
APA Format
Maries, A., & Singh, C. (2013, July 17-18). A good diagram is valuable despite the choice of a mathematical approach to problem solving. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13089&DocID=3624
Chicago Format
Maries, Alexandru, and Chandralekha Singh. "A good diagram is valuable despite the choice of a mathematical approach to problem solving." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR, July 17-18, 2013. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13089&DocID=3624 (accessed 28 November 2014).
MLA Format
Maries, Alexandru, and Chandralekha Singh. "A good diagram is valuable despite the choice of a mathematical approach to problem solving." Physics Education Research Conference 2013. Portland, OR: 2013. 31-34 of PER Conference Invited Paper. 28 Nov. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13089&DocID=3624>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Alexandru Maries and Chandralekha Singh", Title = {A good diagram is valuable despite the choice of a mathematical approach to problem solving}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2013}, Pages = {31-34}, Address = {Portland, OR}, Series = {PER Conference Invited Paper}, Month = {July 17-18}, Year = {2013} }
Refer Export Format

%A Alexandru Maries
%A Chandralekha Singh
%T A good diagram is valuable despite the choice of a mathematical approach to problem solving
%S PER Conference Invited Paper
%D July 17-18 2013
%P 31-34
%C Portland, OR
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13089&DocID=3624
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2013
%O July 17-18
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Maries, Alexandru
%A Singh, Chandralekha
%D July 17-18 2013
%T A good diagram is valuable despite the choice of a mathematical approach to problem solving
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2013
%C Portland, OR
%P 31-34
%S PER Conference Invited Paper
%8 July 17-18
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13089&DocID=3624


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