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Abstract Title: Understanding Graphs with and without Context: Testing an Instrument
Abstract: This is an ongoing study where the objective is to design a concept test to evaluate the understanding and interpretation of calculus graphs. The instrument is based on a modified version of the Test of Understanding Graphs in Kinematics (TUG-K) [1]. The modified version has the intention to obtain more accurate results in its assessment of student understanding, i.e. a complete taxonomy of the student state in kinematics [2]. A new context-free version (TUG-C) was created to evaluate student interpretation of calculus graphs. A total of 365 students participated in the study from two courses in a university level: Introductory Physics and Introductory Calculus. A total of 158 students were administered the kinematics test and 207 of them the context-free test. This work will present data showing preliminary results of the test and a study on how the context affects students understanding of graphs.
[1] Robert, J. Beichner, "Testing student interpretation of kinematics graphs," American Journal of Physics, 62 (8), 750-762 (1994).
[2] Genaro Zavala, Santa E. Tejeda, Juan J. Velarde & Hugo Alarcon, "Assessing student understanding of graphs in kinematics: Improving the tool," Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research. Bar Harbor, Maine (2007).
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Genaro Zavala
Tecnologico de Monterrey
Garza Sada 2501
Monterrey, Non U.S. 64849
Phone: (52-81)8358 2000
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Nadia F. Perez
Tecnologico de Monterrey
Garza Sada 2501
Monterrey, Mexico

Angeles Dominguez
Tecnologico de Monterrey
Garza Sada 2501
Monterrey, Mexico