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Abstract Title: Assessing Student’s Ability to Solve Textbook-Style Problems
Abstract: Development of students' "problem solving ability" is commonly cited as one of the primary goals in introductory physics courses.  However, there is no broadly agreed upon definition of what is meant by "problem solving".  Most physicists ultimate want students to be able to successfully apply a logical yet flexible approach to solving real world problems significantly different from any they have seen before.  Still, many introductory instructors are first and foremost concerned with how successfully and thoughtfully students solve standard textbook-style problems.  We have developed a 15-item survey to help assess students' abilities at solving textbook-style problems. In the Fall of 2009, we beta-tested this instrument on introductory physics students (pre-instruction and post-instruction) at several institutes and on a pool of "experts." In this poster, we will present details of the survey instrument, its administration, and some results from our first round of testing.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jeffrey Marx
McDaniel College
Westminster, MD 21158
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Karen Cummings
Southern Connecticut State University