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Thesis Detail Page

written by David Abbott
consultant: Robert J. Beichner
A test to assess student understanding of measurement and uncertainty has been developed and administered to more than 500 students at two large research universities. The aim is two-fold: 1) to assess what students learn in the first semester of introductory physics labs and 2) to uncover patterns in student reasoning and practice. The forty-minute, eleven item test focuses on direct measurement and student attitudes toward multiple measurements. The test was administered to students to three groups: students enrolled in traditional laboratory lab sections of first semester physics, students in an experimental (SCALE-UP) section of first semester physics, and students in first semester physics. The results were analyzed using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods. Test items were grouped into four main aspects of performance: "point/set" reasoning, meaning of spread, ruler reading and "stacking." Student performance on the pretest was examined to identify links between these aspects. Items within each aspect are correlated to one another, sometimes quite strongly, but items from different aspects rarely show statistically significant correlation. Taken together, these results suggest that student difficulties may not be linked to a single underlying cause. The study shows that current instruction techniques improve student understanding, but hat many students exit the introductory physics lab course without appreciation or coherent understanding for the concept of measurement uncertainty.
University: North Carolina State University
Academic Department:  Physics
Pages 190
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
- Cognition
General Physics
- Measurement/Units
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Types Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Thesis/Dissertation
- Researchers
- Educators
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© 2003 David Scot Abbott
Type:
Dissertation
Keywords:
measurement, student cognition, student reasoning, uncertainty
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created September 27, 2006 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
March 13, 2010 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 1, 2003
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Record Link
AIP Format
D. Abbott, Dissertation, North Carolina State University , 2003, WWW Document, (http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?FMT=7&DID=764747881&RQT=309).
AJP/PRST-PER
D. Abbott, Assessing student understanding of measurement and uncertainty, Dissertation, North Carolina State University , 2003, <http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?FMT=7&DID=764747881&RQT=309>.
APA Format
Abbott, D. (2003, January 1). Assessing student understanding of measurement and uncertainty (Dissertation, North Carolina State University , 2003). Retrieved December 18, 2014, from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?FMT=7&DID=764747881&RQT=309
Chicago Format
Abbott, David. "Assessing student understanding of measurement and uncertainty." Dissertation, North Carolina State University , 2003. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?FMT=7&DID=764747881&RQT=309 (accessed 18 December 2014).
MLA Format
Abbott, David. "Assessing student understanding of measurement and uncertainty." Dissertation. 1 Jan. 2003. North Carolina State University , 2003. 18 Dec. 2014 <http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?FMT=7&DID=764747881&RQT=309>.
BibTeX Export Format
@phdthesis{ Author = "David Abbott", Title = {Assessing student understanding of measurement and uncertainty}, School = {North Carolina State University }, Type = {Dissertation}, Month = {January}, Year = {2003} }
Refer Export Format

%A David Abbott
%T Assessing student understanding of measurement and uncertainty
%R Dissertation
%D January 1, 2003
%P 190
%I North Carolina State University
%U http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?FMT=7&DID=764747881&RQT=309
%O Physics
%O application/pdf
%O Dissertation

EndNote Export Format

%0 Thesis
%A Abbott, David
%D January 1, 2003
%T Assessing student understanding of measurement and uncertainty
%B Physics
%I North Carolina State University
%P 190
%8 January 1, 2003
%9 Dissertation
%U http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?FMT=7&DID=764747881&RQT=309


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