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Student Understanding of the Correlation between Hands- on Activities and Computer Visualizations of NMR/MRI Documents

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Student Understanding of the Correlation between Hands- on Activities and Computer Visualizations of NMR/MRI 

written by Dyan L. McBride, Sytil K. Murphy, and Dean A. Zollman

This study utilizes the implementation of research-based learning materials designed to teach students about the physics of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a concepts-based introductory-level physics course. A progression of activities using hands-on experiments and computer visualizations leads students through the basics of magnetism and resonance, and finally toward a model of MRI. Here we seek to describe how students understand the basics of resonance and then proceed to make correlations between the hands-on activities and visualizations. Results show that students had fundamental difficulties with the concepts surrounding resonance, and that it appears to have led to a rudimentary understanding of the visualization and how the two tasks were correlated. Based on student responses, we postulate what further scaffolding will be necessary for helping the students make more robust connections and a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomena associated with MRI.

Published August 24, 2010
Last Modified October 30, 2010

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