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Abstract Title: Student Expectations in a Group Learning Activity on Harmonic Motion
Abstract: Students come to any physics course with expectations about the world, science, and learning. Those expectations have an influence on the way that students make observations, reason about phenomena, and draw conclusions. In certain situations, those expectations may be inconsistent with those of the physics community and lead to results that are inconsistent with the body of knowledge in physics. We designed a new group learning activity that was intended to support students in model-building and finding coherence between multiple representations in the context of an underdamped harmonic system. During this activity, students mostly relied on qualitative expectations about the system's velocity and an expected mathematical solution, both of which were inappropriate for this system. At the same time, they displayed expectations about coherence between symbolic, graphical, and qualitative representations that would typically be productive, but this was not enough in this situation for building the appropriate model.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Adam Kaczynski
University of Maine
5709 Bennett Hall
Orono, ME 04469-5709
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Michael C. Wittmann, University of Maine