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written by Alexandru Maries
This thesis explores the role of multiple representations in introductory physics students' problem solving performance. Representations can help students focus on the conceptual aspects of physics and play a major role in effective problem solving. Diagrammatic representations can play a particularly important role in the initial stages of conceptual analysis and solution planning. Findings suggest students drawing productive diagrams are more successful problem solvers even if their approach is primarily mathematical. Furthermore, students provided with a diagram sometimes exhibited deteriorated performance. Think-aloud interviews suggest this is partly due to reduced conceptual planning time as students jump to implementation. Another study investigated two interventions aimed at improving introductory students' consistency between mathematical and graphical representations and revealed that excessive scaffolding can have a detrimental effect due in part to increased cognitive load. Students exhibiting representational consistency also showed improved problem solving performance.

Finally, a problem solving task was designed to investigate the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of graduate student teaching assistants (TAs). The TAs identified their choices of the most common difficulties of introductory physics students related to graphical representations of concepts occurring in the Test of Understanding Graphs in Kinematics (TUG-K). The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was also used to assess this aspect of PCK for both physics instructors and TAs. We find that teaching an independent course and recent teaching experience do not correlate with improved PCK. In addition, the performance of American, Chinese, and foreign TAs in identifying common student difficulties in the context of the TUG-K and FCI is similar. Moreover, many common introductory physics students difficulties were not identified by many instructors and TAs.
University: University of Pittsburgh
Academic Department:  Physics and Astronomy
Pages 295
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in One Dimension
- Motion in Two Dimensions
- Newton's Second Law
Education - Applied Research
- Instructional Material Design
= Problem/Question
Education - Basic Research
- Learning Theory
= Representations
- Problem Solving
= Representational Use
- Sample Population
= Instructor: TA
- Teacher Characteristics
= Pedagogical Content Knowledge
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Thesis/Dissertation
PER-Central Types Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Thesis/Dissertation
- Researchers
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© 2013 Alexandru Maries
Type:
PhD Dissertation
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 12, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
December 14, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 3, 2013
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Record Link
AIP Format
A. Maries, PhD Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 2013, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13052&DocID=3616).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Maries, Role of Multiple Representations in Physics Problem Solving PhD Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 2013, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13052&DocID=3616>.
APA Format
Maries, A. (2013, December 3). Role of Multiple Representations in Physics Problem Solving (PhD Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 2013). Retrieved July 28, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13052&DocID=3616
Chicago Format
Maries, Alexandru. "Role of Multiple Representations in Physics Problem Solving." PhD Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 2013. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13052&DocID=3616 (accessed 28 July 2014).
MLA Format
Maries, Alexandru. "Role of Multiple Representations in Physics Problem Solving." PhD Dissertation. 3 Dec. 2013. University of Pittsburgh, 2013. 28 July 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13052&DocID=3616>.
BibTeX Export Format
@phdthesis{ Author = "Alexandru Maries", Title = {Role of Multiple Representations in Physics Problem Solving}, School = {University of Pittsburgh}, Type = {PhD Dissertation}, Month = {December}, Year = {2013} }
Refer Export Format

%A Alexandru Maries
%T Role of Multiple Representations in Physics Problem Solving
%R PhD Dissertation
%D December 3, 2013
%P 295
%I University of Pittsburgh
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13052&DocID=3616
%O Physics and Astronomy
%O application/pdf
%O PhD Dissertation

EndNote Export Format

%0 Thesis
%A Maries, Alexandru
%D December 3, 2013
%T Role of Multiple Representations in Physics Problem Solving
%B Physics and Astronomy
%I University of Pittsburgh
%P 295
%8 December 3, 2013
%9 PhD Dissertation
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13052&DocID=3616


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