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Students’ understanding of continuous charge distributions
written by Tharindu Jayasinghe and Homeyra R. Sadaghiani
We have been investigating students' knowledge pertaining to continuous charge distributions in introductory calculus based physics courses at Cal Poly Pomona. An open-ended questionnaire was developed based on feedback from three faculty who often teach introductory calculus based electricity and magnetism courses to engineering and physics majors in order to probe common observed difficulties. A pilot study was conducted (N = 145) and, based upon the feedback we obtained from these results, a slightly revised version of the questionnaire with three additional questions was subsequently given to a second sample of students (N = 263) in the following quarter. Our data suggests that students struggle with concepts related to linear, surface, and volume charge distributions, as well as the mathematical formulation of infinitesimal charge representations of continuous charge distributions. We will share specific examples and discuss the implications that our findings have for more effective instruction.
Physics Education Research Conference 2017
Part of the PER Conference series
Cincinnati, OH: July 26-27, 2017
Pages 200-203
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Formative Assessment
- Problem Solving
= Processes
- Student Characteristics
= Ability
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electrostatics
= Charge
Mathematical Tools
- Calculus
= Integral
- Lower Undergraduate
- 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.2017.pr.045
Keyword:
PERC 2017
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 26, 2018 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
March 1, 2018 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 1, 2018
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Record Link
AIP Format
T. Jayasinghe and H. Sadaghiani, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, 2017, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14641&DocID=4818).
AJP/PRST-PER
T. Jayasinghe and H. Sadaghiani, Students’ understanding of continuous charge distributions, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, 2017, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14641&DocID=4818>.
APA Format
Jayasinghe, T., & Sadaghiani, H. (2017, July 26-27). Students’ understanding of continuous charge distributions. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH. Retrieved May 19, 2019, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14641&DocID=4818
Chicago Format
Jayasinghe, Tharindu, and Homeyra Sadaghiani. "Students’ understanding of continuous charge distributions." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, July 26-27, 2017. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14641&DocID=4818 (accessed 19 May 2019).
MLA Format
Jayasinghe, Tharindu, and Homeyra Sadaghiani. "Students’ understanding of continuous charge distributions." Physics Education Research Conference 2017. Cincinnati, OH: 2017. 200-203 of PER Conference. 19 May 2019 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14641&DocID=4818>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Tharindu Jayasinghe and Homeyra Sadaghiani", Title = {Students’ understanding of continuous charge distributions}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2017}, Pages = {200-203}, Address = {Cincinnati, OH}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 26-27}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Tharindu Jayasinghe
%A Homeyra Sadaghiani
%T Students' understanding of continuous charge distributions
%S PER Conference
%D July 26-27 2017
%P 200-203
%C Cincinnati, OH
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14641&DocID=4818
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2017
%O July 26-27
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Jayasinghe, Tharindu
%A Sadaghiani, Homeyra
%D July 26-27 2017
%T Students' understanding of continuous charge distributions
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2017
%C Cincinnati, OH
%P 200-203
%S PER Conference
%8 July 26-27
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14641&DocID=4818


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

The AJP/PRST-PER presented is based on the AIP Style with the addition of journal article titles and conference proceeding article titles.

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