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PERC 2009 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Revising Lab Materials to Address Difficulties with Electric Circuits
Abstract: We explored students' understanding of electric circuits in an introductory, non-science-major physics class (Science 201) at Grove City College.  Differentiating between and understanding current, voltage, and resistance is quite difficult and confusing for many students.  We identified the common misconceptions held by students before, during, and after their class and lab involvement with circuits.  Students in Science 201 spend three lab sessions working with circuits.  We videotaped students using the original laboratory materials, interviewed students about their understanding of circuit concepts after each lab activity, and analyzed diagnostic test data to identify specific problem areas.  We re-wrote the laboratory materials in the hopes of improving student learning.  This poster will present the difficulties students were encountering, describe how we modified the lab materials to better address those difficulties, and summarize the changes in diagnostic data we saw after introducing the modified materials.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Rebecca Crema
Grove City College
PO Box 314
Port Republic, NJ 08241
Phone: 609-226-9978
and Co-Presenter(s)
DJ Wagner
Grove City College
djwagner -at- gcc.edu