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Searching For Evidence Of Student Understanding 

written by Tara Bartiromo

There is a strong emphasis in physics education research on the use of multiple representations to help students explain physical phenomena and to solve physics problems. In this paper, we report on students' use of multiple representations in the analysis of kinematics problems. The students learned kinematics using the Physics Union Mathematics curriculum. When we examined pairs of representations in student work (motion diagrams and graphs), we found that students were often consistent but not necessarily correct. Based on the patterns in the data we argue that to fully assess student understanding we need to provide students with problems that require them to use at least two different representations to explain their answer.

Published August 24, 2010
Last Modified October 8, 2010

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