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Thesis Detail Page

written by Wendy K. Adams
The purpose of this research was to produce a problem solving evaluation tool for physics. To do this it was necessary to gain a thorough understanding of how students solve problems. Although physics educators highly value problem solving and have put extensive effort into understanding successful problem solving, there is currently no efficient way to evaluate problem solving skill. The work presented here is unique because the evaluation tool removes the requirement that the student already have a grasp of physics concepts. The work is also unique due to its diversity of individuals examined and the range of tasks it evaluates.

Chapter 1 includes an extensive literature review of problem solving in physics, math, education and cognitive science. Chapter 2 contains information about studies involving the PhET Interactive Simulations and presents design guidelines for interface design. Chapter 3 contains information on the development and validation of the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) for physics.

Chapter 4 describes the work done by the author to develop and validate the Colorado Assessment of Problem Solving (CAPS). This problem solving evaluation tool identifies 44 separate skills (skills) necessary for solving problems. Rigorous validation studies, including work with an independent interviewer, show the skills identified by this content-free evaluation tool are the same skills that students use to solve problems in mechanics and quantum mechanics. A discussion is included about how this work extends what is currently understood about the skills that students use to solve problems and which of these skills are applicable in other disciplines. Understanding this set of component skills will help teachers and researchers address problem solving within the classroom.
University: University of Colorado Boulder
Academic Department:  Physics
Pages 416
View the cached copy documents attached to this resource (6)
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Problem Solving
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Instruments
- Problem Solving
= Processes
- Research Design & Methodology
= Validity
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
- Graduate/Professional
- Middle School
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Informal Education
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Best practice
- Assessment Material
= Rubric
= Test
- Reference Material
= Bibliography
= Research study
= Thesis/Dissertation
- Dataset
PER-Central Types Intended Users Ratings
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Formats:
application/ms-word
non-digital
Mirror:
http://gradworks.umi.com/33/03/33…
Access Rights:
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Restriction:
© 2008 Wendy K. Adams
Type:
Dissertation
Keywords:
Attitudes, Beliefs, Interactive Simulations, engaged exploration, factor analysis, visualizations.
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 23, 2009 by Wendy Adams
Record Updated:
May 22, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 12, 2008
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Record Link
AIP Format
W. Adams, Dissertation, University of Colorado Boulder, 2008, WWW Document, (http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/Adams_Dissertation.htm).
AJP/PRST-PER
W. Adams, Development of a problem solving evaluation instrument; Untangling of specific problem solving skills Dissertation, University of Colorado Boulder, 2008, <http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/Adams_Dissertation.htm>.
APA Format
Adams, W. (2008, January 12). Development of a problem solving evaluation instrument; Untangling of specific problem solving skills (Dissertation, University of Colorado Boulder, 2008). Retrieved April 21, 2014, from http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/Adams_Dissertation.htm
Chicago Format
Adams, Wendy. "Development of a problem solving evaluation instrument; Untangling of specific problem solving skills." Dissertation, University of Colorado Boulder, 2008. http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/Adams_Dissertation.htm (accessed 21 April 2014).
MLA Format
Adams, Wendy. "Development of a problem solving evaluation instrument; Untangling of specific problem solving skills." Dissertation. 12 Jan. 2008. University of Colorado Boulder, 2008. 21 Apr. 2014 <http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/Adams_Dissertation.htm>.
BibTeX Export Format
@phdthesis{ Author = "Wendy Adams", Title = {Development of a problem solving evaluation instrument; Untangling of specific problem solving skills}, School = {University of Colorado Boulder}, Type = {Dissertation}, Month = {January}, Year = {2008} }
Refer Export Format

%A Wendy Adams
%T Development of a problem solving evaluation instrument; Untangling of specific problem solving skills
%R Dissertation
%D January 12, 2008
%P 416
%I University of Colorado Boulder
%U http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/Adams_Dissertation.htm
%O Physics
%O application/ms-word
%O Dissertation

EndNote Export Format

%0 Thesis
%A Adams, Wendy
%D January 12, 2008
%T Development of a problem solving evaluation instrument; Untangling of specific problem solving skills
%B Physics
%I University of Colorado Boulder
%P 416
%8 January 12, 2008
%9 Dissertation
%U http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/Adams_Dissertation.htm


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