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Abstract Title: Contrasting students’ understanding of electric field and electric force
Abstract: Students may have greater difficulties to understand electric interactions since they have less daily experience compared to mechanics.  However, there might be a difference in understanding among different electric concepts like electric force and field. This work presents the results of students' responses to two sequences of superposition principle isomorphic questions in which the only difference was that in one of the sequences, the electric force was used and on the other sequence, the electric field. We administered one of the sequences to 249 students at a large private Mexican university after covering electrostatics in an Electricity and Magnetism class. Answers, reasoning and drawings were analyzed. We found that students who took the force sequence can better answer correctly questions using the superposition principle than those students with the field sequence. The analysis of the students' reasoning and drawing helped us to reveal students understanding of electric field.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Alejandro Garza
Tecnologico de Monterrey
Garza Sada 2501
Monterrey, Non U.S. 64849
Phone: 8183582000
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Genaro Zavala
Tecnologico de Monterrey