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PERC 2009 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Comparing Experts and Novices in Solving Electrical Circuits Problems with the Help of Eye Tracking
Abstract: In order to help introductory physics students understand and learn to solve problems with circuits, we must first understand how they differ from experts. This preliminary study focuses on problem solving dealing with electrical circuits. We investigate difficulties novices have with circuits and compare their work with those of experts.  We incorporate the use of an eye-tracker to investigate any possible differences or similarities on how experts and novices focus on graphics or multimedia usually used in analyzing circuits and their components.  Our results show similarities in gaze patterns among all subjects on the components of the circuit.  Yet, we found differences in how they solve the problems. For example, experts simplified circuits when appropriate as opposed to novices who did not.  We also found that novices were confusing additive properties of capacitance with those of resistance.   They also had difficulties identifying when resistors are in parallel or in series.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: David Rosengrant
Kennesaw State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Colin Thomson
Kennesaw State University
cthomso3 -at-

Taha Mzoughi
Kennesaw State University
tmzoughi -at-