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Abstract Title: Coupling Conceptual and Quantitative Problems to Develop Student Expertise in Introductory Physics
Abstract: We discuss the effect of administering conceptual and quantitative isomorphic problem pairs (CQIPP) back to back vs. asking students to solve only one of the problems in the CQIPP in introductory physics courses. Students who answered both questions in an CQIPP often performed better on the conceptual questions than those who answered the corresponding conceptual questions only. Although students often took advantage of the quantitative counterpart to answer a conceptual question of an IPP correctly, when only given the conceptual question, students seldom tried to convert it into a quantitative question, solve it and then reason about the solution conceptually. Even in individual interviews when students who were only given conceptual questions had difficulty and the interviewer explicitly encouraged them to convert the conceptual question into the corresponding quantitative problem by choosing appropriate variables, a majority of students were reluctant and preferred to guess the answer to the conceptual question based upon their gut feeling.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster
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Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Chandralekha Singh
University of Pittsburgh
3941 Ohara St.
Department of Physics, University of PIttsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 4126249045
Fax: 4126249163