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PERC 2009 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Facilitating Students' Transfer of Problem Solving Across Representations*
Abstract: Studies indicate that the use of multiple representations in teaching helps students become better problem solvers.  Students who learn in representation-rich environments are able to construct representations to help them solve problems.  We report on a study to investigate students' difficulties with multiple representations and strategies to help students overcome those difficulties.  We conducted teaching/learning interviews with 20 students in a first semester calculus-based physics course.  Each student was interviewed four times during the semester, each time after they had completed an exam in class.  During these interviews students were first asked to solve a problem they had seen on the exam, followed by problems that differed in context and type of representation from the exam problem.  Students were provided verbal scaffolding to solve the new problems.  We present the interview protocols, common difficulties that students encountered and scaffolding that we provided students to help them overcome those difficulties.

* This work is supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation grant 0816207.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dong-Hai Nguyen
Department of Physics, Kansas State University
116 Cardwell Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
Phone: 785-317-1255
and Co-Presenter(s)
N. Sanjay Rebello
Department of Physics, Kansas State University