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Characterizing problem types and features in physics-intensive PhD research
written by Benjamin M. Zwickl, Anna E. Leak, Javier Olivera, Jarrett Vosburg, and Kelly Norris Martin
Problem-solving in the undergraduate curriculum typically occurs in content-focused courses that emphasize applying a conceptual and mathematical understanding of key physics principles to given situations. This project expands the notion of problem-solving by characterizing the breadth of problem-solving activities carried out by graduate students in physics-intensive research. In 10 in-depth interviews, PhD students were asked to describe routine, difficult, and important problems they engage in. A grounded theory analysis resulted in a framework with three dimensions: problem context (e.g., experiments, software, or math), activity (e.g., design or troubleshooting), and feature that made the problem hard (e.g., complexity or insufficient resources). Problem contexts usually extended beyond theory and mathematics (e.g., experiments, data analysis, and computation). Important problem contexts blended soft and technical skills (e.g., communication and collaboration). Routine problem activities tended to be well-defined (e.g., troubleshooting) while important ones were more open-ended and had multiple solution paths (e.g., evaluating options). The results can inform curriculum development and PER with an expanded view of problem-solving.
Physics Education Research Conference 2016
Part of the PER Conference series
Sacramento, CA: July 20-21, 2016
Pages 412-415
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Problem Solving
= Heuristics
= Processes
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
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.098
NSF Number:
1432578
Keyword:
PERC 2016
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 1, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
June 20, 2017 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 29, 2016
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Record Link
AIP Format
B. Zwickl, A. Leak, J. Olivera, 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=14282&DocID=4636).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Zwickl, A. Leak, J. Olivera, J. Vosburg, and K. Martin, Characterizing problem types and features 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=14282&DocID=4636>.
APA Format
Zwickl, B., Leak, A., Olivera, J., Vosburg, J., & Martin, K. (2016, July 20-21). Characterizing problem types and features in physics-intensive PhD research. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA. Retrieved August 24, 2019, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14282&DocID=4636
Chicago Format
Zwickl, B, A. Leak, J. Olivera, J. Vosburg, and K. Martin. "Characterizing problem types and features 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=14282&DocID=4636 (accessed 24 August 2019).
MLA Format
Zwickl, Benjamin, Anna Leak, Javier Olivera, Jarrett Vosburg, and Kelly Norris Martin. "Characterizing problem types and features in physics-intensive PhD research." Physics Education Research Conference 2016. Sacramento, CA: 2016. 412-415 of PER Conference. 24 Aug. 2019 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14282&DocID=4636>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Benjamin Zwickl and Anna Leak and Javier Olivera and Jarrett Vosburg and Kelly Norris Martin", Title = {Characterizing problem types and features in physics-intensive PhD research}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2016}, Pages = {412-415}, Address = {Sacramento, CA}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 20-21}, Year = {2016} }
Refer Export Format

%A Benjamin Zwickl
%A Anna Leak
%A Javier Olivera
%A Jarrett Vosburg
%A Kelly Norris Martin
%T Characterizing problem types and features in physics-intensive PhD research
%S PER Conference
%D July 20-21 2016
%P 412-415
%C Sacramento, CA
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14282&DocID=4636
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2016
%O July 20-21
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Zwickl, Benjamin
%A Leak, Anna
%A Olivera, Javier
%A Vosburg, Jarrett
%A Martin, Kelly Norris
%D July 20-21 2016
%T Characterizing problem types and features in physics-intensive PhD research
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2016
%C Sacramento, CA
%P 412-415
%S PER Conference
%8 July 20-21
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14282&DocID=4636


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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