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Abstract Title: Maximum Likelihood Estimation of students' understanding of vector subtraction
Abstract: We are engaged in a large project to understand the evolution of student understanding throughout the introductory calculus-based sequence. In this poster, we report on the impact that slight changes in question format have on student response to vector subtraction tasks.  We use Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) analysis to analyze students' responses on six very similar questions which vary in context (physics or mathematics), vector alignment (both pointing to the right or opposed), and operation (left-right subtraction or right-left subtraction).  Responses on all questions are generally correct and do not vary by instructional week or even by course.  Context and specific operation do not show significant differences.  However vector alignment is significantly different, indicating that perception or sloppy thinking is a bigger cause of failure than conceptual deficit.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster

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Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Tianren Wang
Wabash College
Box 352
Crawfordsville, IN 47933
and Co-Presenter(s)
Eleanor Sayre, Wabash College