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American Journal of Physics
written by Lillian C. McDermott, Mark Rosenquist, and Emily Van Zee
Some common errors exhibited by students in interpreting graphs in physics are illustrated by examples from kinematics.  These are taken from the results of a descriptive study extending over a period of several years and involving several hundred university students who were enrolled in a laboratory-based preparatory physics course.  Subsequent testing indicated that the graphing errors made by this group of students are not idiosyncratic, but are found in different populations and across different levels of sophistication.  This paper examines two categories of difficulty identified in the investigation:  difficulty in connecting graphs to physical concepts and difficulty in connecting graphs to the real world.  Specific difficulties in each category are discussed in terms of student performance on written problems and laboratory experiments.  A few of the instructional strategies that have been designed to address some of these difficulties are described.
American Journal of Physics: Volume 55, Issue 6, Pages 503-513
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Instructional Material Design
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Instructional Material
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© 1987 American Journal of Physics
Additional information is available.
DOI:
10.1119/1.15104
Keywords:
graphs, instructional strategies, kinematics, physics, student performance
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 13, 2005 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
September 27, 2007 by Rebecca Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
June 1, 1987
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Record Link
AIP Format
L. McDermott, M. Rosenquist, and E. Van Zee, Am. J. Phys. 55 (6), 503 (1987), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1119/1.15104).
AJP/PRST-PER
L. McDermott, M. Rosenquist, and E. Van Zee, Student difficulties in connecting graphs and physics: Examples from kinematics, Am. J. Phys. 55 (6), 503 (1987), <https://doi.org/10.1119/1.15104>.
APA Format
McDermott, L., Rosenquist, M., & Van Zee, E. (1987, June 1). Student difficulties in connecting graphs and physics: Examples from kinematics. Am. J. Phys., 55(6), 503-513. Retrieved September 20, 2020, from https://doi.org/10.1119/1.15104
Chicago Format
McDermott, L, M. Rosenquist, and E. Van Zee. "Student difficulties in connecting graphs and physics: Examples from kinematics." Am. J. Phys. 55, no. 6, (June 1, 1987): 503-513, https://doi.org/10.1119/1.15104 (accessed 20 September 2020).
MLA Format
McDermott, Lillian C., Mark Rosenquist, and Emily Van Zee. "Student difficulties in connecting graphs and physics: Examples from kinematics." Am. J. Phys. 55.6 (1987): 503-513. 20 Sep. 2020 <https://doi.org/10.1119/1.15104>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Lillian C. McDermott and Mark Rosenquist and Emily Van Zee", Title = {Student difficulties in connecting graphs and physics: Examples from kinematics}, Journal = {Am. J. Phys.}, Volume = {55}, Number = {6}, Pages = {503-513}, Month = {June}, Year = {1987} }
Refer Export Format

%A Lillian C. McDermott
%A Mark Rosenquist
%A Emily Van Zee
%T Student difficulties in connecting graphs and physics: Examples from kinematics
%J Am. J. Phys.
%V 55
%N 6
%D June 1, 1987
%P 503-513
%U https://doi.org/10.1119/1.15104
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A McDermott, Lillian C.
%A Rosenquist, Mark
%A Van Zee, Emily
%D June 1, 1987
%T Student difficulties in connecting graphs and physics: Examples from kinematics
%J Am. J. Phys.
%V 55
%N 6
%P 503-513
%8 June 1, 1987
%U https://doi.org/10.1119/1.15104


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