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Abstract Title: To Use or Not to Use Diagrams: The Effect of Drawing a Diagram in Solving Introductory Physics Problems
Abstract: Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform a given problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving it. A major focus while helping introductory physics students learn problem solving is to help them appreciate that drawing diagrams facilitates problem solution. We conducted an investigation in which 111 students in an algebra-based introductory physics course were subjected to two different interventions during recitation quizzes throughout the semester. They were either (1) asked to solve problems in which the diagrams were drawn for them or (2) explicitly told to draw a diagram. A comparison group was not given any instruction regarding diagrams. We developed a rubric to score the problem-solving performance of students in different intervention groups. We present results for two problems involving electric field and electric force.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Alexandru Maries
University of Pittsburgh
5813 Bartlett Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Phone: 2013125091
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Dr. Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh