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written by Brendon D. Mikula and Andrew F. Heckler
Students in introductory physics courses sometimes struggle to correctly break down a single vector into its components when provided only with an arrow, a magnitude, a reference angle, and a coordinate system. Students struggle further when asked to break down a vector in an inclined coordinate system, such as the weight vector of a box on an inclined plane. Varying the placement of the angle consistently affects student error and response patterns across four physics student populations: algebra-based mechanics, algebra-based E&M, calculus-based mechanics, and calculus-based E&M. This suggests that student difficulties with trigonometric vector components are persistent and pervasive, even across different introductory physics courses, and are far below the requisite near-perfect accuracy needed for such fundamental skills. Student error and response patterns are discussed for both problem types.
Physics Education Research Conference 2013
Part of the PER Conference series
Portland, OR: July 17-18, 2013
Pages 253-256
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
- Cognition
Mathematical Tools
- Trig and Pre-cal
- Vector Algebra
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Educators
- Professional/Practitioners
- Researchers
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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.pr.051
NSF Number:
0820414
PACSs:
01.55.+b
01.40.-d
Keywords:
PERC 2013, Student understanding, trigonometry, vector components, vectors
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created January 31, 2014 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 31, 2014 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 16, 2013
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Record Link
AIP Format
B. Mikula and A. Heckler, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR, 2013, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13176&DocID=3723).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Mikula and A. Heckler, Student Difficulties with Trigonometric Vector Components Persist in Multiple Student Populations, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR, 2013, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13176&DocID=3723>.
APA Format
Mikula, B., & Heckler, A. (2013, July 17-18). Student Difficulties with Trigonometric Vector Components Persist in Multiple Student Populations. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR. Retrieved November 23, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13176&DocID=3723
Chicago Format
Mikula, Brendon, and Andrew F. Heckler. "Student Difficulties with Trigonometric Vector Components Persist in Multiple Student Populations." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR, July 17-18, 2013. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13176&DocID=3723 (accessed 23 November 2014).
MLA Format
Mikula, Brendon, and Andrew F. Heckler. "Student Difficulties with Trigonometric Vector Components Persist in Multiple Student Populations." Physics Education Research Conference 2013. Portland, OR: 2013. 253-256 of PER Conference. 23 Nov. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13176&DocID=3723>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Brendon Mikula and Andrew F. Heckler", Title = {Student Difficulties with Trigonometric Vector Components Persist in Multiple Student Populations}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2013}, Pages = {253-256}, Address = {Portland, OR}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 17-18}, Year = {2013} }
Refer Export Format

%A Brendon Mikula
%A Andrew F. Heckler
%T Student Difficulties with Trigonometric Vector Components Persist in Multiple Student Populations
%S PER Conference
%D July 17-18 2013
%P 253-256
%C Portland, OR
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13176&DocID=3723
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2013
%O July 17-18
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Mikula, Brendon
%A Heckler, Andrew F.
%D July 17-18 2013
%T Student Difficulties with Trigonometric Vector Components Persist in Multiple Student Populations
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2013
%C Portland, OR
%P 253-256
%S PER Conference
%8 July 17-18
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13176&DocID=3723


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