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2001 PERC Proceedings

Conference Information

Dates: July 25-26, 2001
Location: Rochester, NY
Theme: Research at the Interface

Proceedings Information

Editors: Karen Cummings, Scott Franklin, and Jeffrey Marx
Published: July 26, 2001

Table of Contents

Front Matter
Preface
Invited Papers (10)
Peer-reviewed Papers (21)

INVITED MANUSCRIPTS (10)

First Author Index

Otero · Kanim · Mahajan · Leonard · Gerace · George · Finkelstein · Escalada · Dukes · White-Brahmia

Invited Papers

Conceptual Development and Context: How Do They Relate?
Valerie K. Otero
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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This paper, presented at the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference, combines results from a larger research study that focuses on both cognitive and social aspects of learning (Otero, 2001). The study was conducted in a physical science class for prospective elementary teachers. The theoretical perspective used is distributed cognition (Hutchins, 1995), in which interacting with tools and others with tools are considered a cognitive system that generates learning. According to this perspective, each element of the system contributes to the cognitive product by sharing part of the cognitive load associated with a task. Results discussed in this paper suggest that student conceptual development influences the classroom context or cognitive system. Please note that this version of the paper was redacted from the 2001 PERC Proceedings and a corrected version is available in the 2002 PERC Proceedings.

V. K. Otero, Conceptual Development and Context: How Do They Relate?, 2001 PERC Proceedings [Rochester, NY, July 25-26, 2001], edited by K. Cummings, S. Franklin, and J. Marx.

Connecting Concepts to Problem-solving
Stephen E. Kanim
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Traditional quantitative problems of the type commonly found at the end of chapters in physics textbooks are assigned to students in most introductory physics courses. Many students use a formula-driven approach to solve these problems that does not rely on understanding underlying physics concepts and that does little to encourage the problem-solving skills employed by experts. In this paper, we illustrate the use of “bridging exercises” as part of students’ homework in the context of electrostatics. These exercises encourage students to solve problems by starting with developed physics concepts and models.

S. E. Kanim, Connecting Concepts to Problem-solving, 2001 PERC Proceedings [Rochester, NY, July 25-26, 2001], edited by K. Cummings, S. Franklin, and J. Marx.

Pretending not to be Alan Schoenfeld
Sanjoy Mahajan
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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This paper, presented at the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference, recounts two historical experiments in the mathematical education field that may be of interest to physics education researchers.

S. Mahajan, Pretending not to be Alan Schoenfeld, 2001 PERC Proceedings [Rochester, NY, July 25-26, 2001], edited by K. Cummings, S. Franklin, and J. Marx.

Questions First (Q1st): The Challenges, Benefits, Drawbacks, and Results of Asking Students Questions Prior to Formal Instruction
William J. Leonard, William J. Gerace, and Robert J. Dufresne
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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This paper, presented at the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference, presents a research study intended to compare two different approaches to using a classroom communication system (CCS). In the end, however, this study became less about trying to pin down the effects of two different instructional styles, and much, much more about the difficulties of comparing two large sub-populations of students. Therefore, although the authors report findings regarding the comparison of the two sections and approaches, a large fraction of this talk focuses on the development of the authors' thinking regarding the hindrances to making definitive and reliable statements about their findings.

W. J. Leonard, W. J. Gerace, and R. J. Dufresne, Questions First (Q1st): The Challenges, Benefits, Drawbacks, and Results of Asking Students Questions Prior to Formal Instruction, 2001 PERC Proceedings [Rochester, NY, July 25-26, 2001], edited by K. Cummings, S. Franklin, and J. Marx.

Problem Solving and Conceptual Understanding
William J. Gerace
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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This paper, presented at the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference, presents a framework for thinking about knowledge and its organization that can account for known expert-novice differences in knowledge storage and problem solving behavior. The author argues that interpreting any relationship between the ability to answer qualitative and quantitative questions requires a model of cognition, and that PER should seek to develop assessments that monitor component aspects of developing expertise.

W. J. Gerace, Problem Solving and Conceptual Understanding, 2001 PERC Proceedings [Rochester, NY, July 25-26, 2001], edited by K. Cummings, S. Franklin, and J. Marx.

Observing Students' Use of Computer-based Tools During Collision Experiments
Elizabeth George, Maan Jiang Broadstock, and Jesús Vázquez-Abad
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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This paper, presented at the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference, the authors investigate the effects of instructional approaches in microcomputer-based laboratories and video-based labs in an undergraduate physics laboratory. Results indicate that students are able to make good use of this information in the lab, and that they respond to this added information by spending more time in lab talking about concepts. The authors also discuss their data which shows some of the difficulties students had in learning the concepts of conservation of momentum and energy.

E. George, M. J. Broadstock, and J. Vázquez-Abad, Observing Students' Use of Computer-based Tools During Collision Experiments, 2001 PERC Proceedings [Rochester, NY, July 25-26, 2001], edited by K. Cummings, S. Franklin, and J. Marx.

Context in the Context of Physics and Learning
Noah D. Finkelstein
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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This paper, presented at the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference, re-centers the discussion of student learning to focus on context. A theoretically-grounded understanding of context and the relation of context to student learning are developed. This work argues for a contextual constructivist model of student learning, in order to support efforts in creating and analyzing environments that support student learning in physics.

N. D. Finkelstein, Context in the Context of Physics and Learning, 2001 PERC Proceedings [Rochester, NY, July 25-26, 2001], edited by K. Cummings, S. Franklin, and J. Marx.

An Investigation on the Impact of Implementing Visual Quantum Mechanics on Student Learning and Student Instructor Beliefs
Lawrence T. Escalada
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Aspects of the Visual Quantum Mechanics instructional materials have been adapted and implemented into a university physical science course for pre-service elementary education majors and various high school physics classrooms. These materials utilize a learning cycle pedagogy involving interactive, simulation computer programs and inexpensive devices to introduce basic quantum physics ideas within the context of fundamental physics concepts. A brief description of how these materials and strategies were adapted and implemented in high school classrooms will be provided. The results found on student conceptual learning and student/instructor attitudes and beliefs will also be briefly discussed.

L. T. Escalada, An Investigation on the Impact of Implementing Visual Quantum Mechanics on Student Learning and Student Instructor Beliefs, 2001 PERC Proceedings [Rochester, NY, July 25-26, 2001], edited by K. Cummings, S. Franklin, and J. Marx.

Inductive Influence of Related Quantitative and Conceptual Problems
Philip Dukes and David E. Pritchard
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Physics education research shows that conceptual understanding is not necessary for students to do well on standard quantitative problems in introductory physics. This study addresses a related question: is conceptual understanding sufficient or helpful for students to do well in quantitative problems?

P. Dukes and D. E. Pritchard, Inductive Influence of Related Quantitative and Conceptual Problems, 2001 PERC Proceedings [Rochester, NY, July 25-26, 2001], edited by K. Cummings, S. Franklin, and J. Marx.

Emphasizing the Social Aspects of Learning to Foster Success of Students at Risk
Suzanne Brahmia and Eugenia Etkina
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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This paper, presented at the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference, offers discussion about the factors that put students at risk of failure in introductory physics courses, and offers methods, that emphasize the social aspects of learning, for addressing these factors. The methods place special emphasis on the social aspects of learning then the authors share their experience in creating an effective program within the structure of a research university. The Extended Physics program at Rutgers University provides a successful alternative to the traditional introductory courses for students at risk of failure.

S. Brahmia and E. Etkina, Emphasizing the Social Aspects of Learning to Foster Success of Students at Risk, 2001 PERC Proceedings [Rochester, NY, July 25-26, 2001], edited by K. Cummings, S. Franklin, and J. Marx.

PEER REVIEWED MANUSCRIPTS (21)

First Author Index

Kuo · Saul · Shelby · Singh · Warnakulasooriya · Yeend · Zou · Harper · De Leone · Kanim · McCullough · Lee · May · Potter · Meltzer · Manivannan · Hodari · French · Etkina · Heller · Henderson

Peer-reviewed Papers

Instructors' Ideas about Problem Solving - Grading
H. Vincent Kuo, Kenneth Heller, Patricia Heller, Edit Yerushalmi, and Charles R. Henderson
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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An Activity-based Curriculum for Large Introductory Physics Classes: The SCALE-UP Project
Jeffrey Saul and Robert J. Beichner
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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An assessment of the Andes tutor
Robert Shelby, Kay Schulze, Donald J. Treacy, Mary C. Wintersgill, Kurt VanLehn, and Anders Weinstein
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Students' Conceptual Knowledge of Energy and Momentum
Chandralekha Singh and David Rosengrant
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Preliminary Studies on Students' Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism for the Development of a Model Dased Diagnostic Instrument
Rasil Warnakulasooriya and Lei Bao
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Student Understanding of Density: A Cross-age Investigation
R.E. Yeend, Michael E. Loverude, and Barbara L. Gonzalez
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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The Role of Work-energy Bar Charts as a Physical Representation in Problem Solving
Xueli Zou
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Assessing Problem Solving with "Diana"
Kathleen A. Harper
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Class Size Effects in Active Learning Physics Courses
Charles De Leone, Wendell H. Potter, Catherine M. Ishikawa, Jacob Blickenstaff, and Patrick L. Hession
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Connecting Concepts About Current to Quantitative Circuit Problems
Stephen E. Kanim
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Differences in Male/Female Response Patterns on Alternative-format Versions of the Force Concept Inventory
Laura McCullough and David E. Meltzer
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Graduate and Undergraduate Students' Views on Learning and Teaching Physics
Gyoungho Lee and Lei Bao
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Self-reflection, Epistemological Beliefs, and Conceptual Gains
David May and Eugenia Etkina
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Significant Reduction in Gender Grade Disparities in a Reformed Introductory Physics Course
Wendell H. Potter, Charles De Leone, Catherine M. Ishikawa, Jacob Blickenstaff, and Patrick L. Hession
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Student Reasoning Regarding Work, Heat, and the First Law of Thermodynamics in an Introductory Physics Course
David E. Meltzer
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Use of In-class Physics Demonstrations in Highly Interactive Format
Kandiah Manivannan and David E. Meltzer
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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What Can We Learn from Minority-serving Institutions?
Apriel K. Hodari, Jeffrey Saul, and Beth Hufnagel
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Development of an Introductory Physics Problem-Solving Assessment Tool
Timothy A. French and Karen Cummings
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Investigative Science Learning Environment: Using the processes of science and cognitive strategies to learn physics
Eugenia Etkina and Alan Van Heuvelen
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Instructors’ Beliefs and Values about Learning Problem Solving
Patricia Heller, Kenneth Heller, Charles R. Henderson, H. Vincent Kuo, and Edit Yerushalmi
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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Instructors’ Ideas about Problem Solving – Setting Goals
Charles R. Henderson, Kenneth Heller, Patricia Heller, H. Vincent Kuo, and Edit Yerushalmi
2001 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings
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