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Contextualizing problem-solving strategies in physics-intensive PhD research
written by Anna Leak, Javier Olivera, Benjamin M. Zwickl, Jarrett Vosburg, and Kelly Norris Martin
Problem-solving strategies that physics undergraduates learn should prepare them for real-world contexts as they transition from novices to experts. Yet, graduate students in physics-intensive research face problems that go beyond "problem sets" they experienced as undergraduates and are solved by different strategies than are typically emphasized in undergraduate coursework. We conducted semi-structured interviews with ten graduate students to determine problem-solving strategies they found useful in their research. We coded these interviews using emergent and grounded theory approaches. Our findings explore problem-solving strategies (e.g., planning ahead, breaking down problems, evaluating options), contexts (e.g., designing software and troubleshooting equipment), and characteristics of successful problem-solvers (e.g., initiative, persistence, and motivation). Graduate students also relied on problem representations such as test cases, approximations, and simulations in their problem-solving process. Understanding problem-solving strategies, contexts, and characteristics has implications for how we approach problem-solving in undergraduate physics and physics education research.
Physics Education Research Conference 2016
Part of the PER Conference series
Sacramento, CA: July 20-21, 2016
Pages 192-195
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Problem Solving
= Heuristics
= Processes
= Representational Use
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
= Skills
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Research study
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Researchers
- application/pdf
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Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/perc.20…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2016.pr.043
NSF Number:
1432578
Keyword:
PERC 2016
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 30, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
December 28, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 29, 2016
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
A. Leak, J. Olivera, B. Zwickl, J. Vosburg, and K. Martin, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, 2016, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14227&DocID=4581).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Leak, J. Olivera, B. Zwickl, J. Vosburg, and K. Martin, Contextualizing problem-solving strategies in physics-intensive PhD research, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, 2016, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14227&DocID=4581>.
APA Format
Leak, A., Olivera, J., Zwickl, B., Vosburg, J., & Martin, K. (2016, July 20-21). Contextualizing problem-solving strategies in physics-intensive PhD research. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA. Retrieved December 18, 2017, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14227&DocID=4581
Chicago Format
Leak, A, J. Olivera, B. Zwickl, J. Vosburg, and K. Martin. "Contextualizing problem-solving strategies in physics-intensive PhD research." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, July 20-21, 2016. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14227&DocID=4581 (accessed 18 December 2017).
MLA Format
Leak, Anna, Javier Olivera, Benjamin Zwickl, Jarrett Vosburg, and Kelly Norris Martin. "Contextualizing problem-solving strategies in physics-intensive PhD research." Physics Education Research Conference 2016. Sacramento, CA: 2016. 192-195 of PER Conference. 18 Dec. 2017 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14227&DocID=4581>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Anna Leak and Javier Olivera and Benjamin Zwickl and Jarrett Vosburg and Kelly Norris Martin", Title = {Contextualizing problem-solving strategies in physics-intensive PhD research}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2016}, Pages = {192-195}, Address = {Sacramento, CA}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 20-21}, Year = {2016} }
Refer Export Format

%A Anna Leak
%A Javier Olivera
%A Benjamin Zwickl
%A Jarrett Vosburg
%A Kelly Norris Martin
%T Contextualizing problem-solving strategies in physics-intensive PhD research
%S PER Conference
%D July 20-21 2016
%P 192-195
%C Sacramento, CA
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14227&DocID=4581
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2016
%O July 20-21
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Leak, Anna
%A Olivera, Javier
%A Zwickl, Benjamin
%A Vosburg, Jarrett
%A Martin, Kelly Norris
%D July 20-21 2016
%T Contextualizing problem-solving strategies in physics-intensive PhD research
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2016
%C Sacramento, CA
%P 192-195
%S PER Conference
%8 July 20-21
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14227&DocID=4581


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