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PERC 2011 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Using Verbalizations To Understand How Students Think About Integration In Introductory Electromagnetism Contexts
Abstract: Students in introductory physics have difficulties when applying calculus to physics problems.  The application of integration to physical situations is especially challenging yet it is crucial to several of the electromagnetism concepts taught in a typical second semester introductory course.  Understanding how students make sense of and apply integration to different physical situations could help guide future instructional development.  Individual interviews were conducted where students talked about their solution approaches for different electric field and electric potential difference problems involving the use of integrals.  A classification scheme developed to understand how students are talking about these problems will be presented.  Evidence from these interviews suggests that students approach integration in these two contexts differently.  The implications that this observation might have on instructional design will be discussed.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jeffrey M. Polak
North Carolina State University
Department of Physics
Box 8202
Raleigh, NC 27695
Phone: 919-513-7214
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Ruth Chabay - North Carolina State University