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Identifying Differences in Diagnostic Skills between Physics Students: Students' Self-Diagnostic Performance Given Alternative Scaffolding Documents

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Identifying Differences in Diagnostic Skills between Physics Students: Students' Self-Diagnostic Performance Given Alternative Scaffolding 

written by Elisheva Cohen, Andrew J. Mason, Chandralekha Singh, and Edit Yerushalmi

"Self-diagnosis tasks" aim at fostering diagnostic behavior by explicitly requiring students to present diagnosis as part of the activity of reviewing their problem solutions. We have been investigating the extent to which introductory physics students can diagnose their own mistakes when explicitly asked to do so with different levels of scaffolding support provided to them. In our study in an introductory physics class with more than 200 students, the recitation classes were split into three different experimental groups in which different levels of guidance were provided for performing the self-diagnosis activities. We present our findings that students' performance was far from perfect. However, differences in the scaffolding in the three experimental groups (i.e. providing a correct solution and a self-diagnosis rubric) noticeably affected the resulting diagnosis.

Published October 20, 2008
Last Modified May 21, 2009

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