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How computation can facilitate sensemaking about physics: A case study
written by Odd Petter Sand, Tor Ole B. Odden, Christine Lindstrøm, and Marcos D. Caballero
We present a case study featuring a first-year bio-science university student using computation to solve a radioactive decay problem and interpret the results. In a semi-structured cognitive interview, we use this case to examine the process of sensemaking in a computational science context. We observe the student entering the sensemaking process by inspecting and comparing computational outputs. She then makes several attempts to resolve the perceived inconsistency, foregrounding knowledge from different domains. The key to making sense of the model for this student proves to be thinking about how to implement a better model computationally. This demonstrates that integrating computation in physics activities may provide students with opportunities to engage in sensemaking and critical thinking. We finally discuss some implications for instruction.
Physics Education Research Conference 2018
Part of the PER Conference series
Washington, DC: August 1-2, 2018
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
General Physics
- Computational Physics
Modern Physics
- Nuclear Physics
= Radioactivity
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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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.2018.pr.Sand
Keyword:
PERC 2018
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 31, 2018 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 3, 2019 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 31, 2018
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Record Link
AIP Format
O. Sand, T. Odden, C. Lindstrøm, and M. Caballero, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, 2018, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14850&DocID=4997).
AJP/PRST-PER
O. Sand, T. Odden, C. Lindstrøm, and M. Caballero, How computation can facilitate sensemaking about physics: A case study, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, 2018, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14850&DocID=4997>.
APA Format
Sand, O., Odden, T., Lindstrøm, C., & Caballero, M. (2018, August 1-2). How computation can facilitate sensemaking about physics: A case study. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC. Retrieved August 9, 2020, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14850&DocID=4997
Chicago Format
Sand, O, T. Odden, C. Lindstrøm, and M. Caballero. "How computation can facilitate sensemaking about physics: A case study." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, August 1-2, 2018. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14850&DocID=4997 (accessed 9 August 2020).
MLA Format
Sand, Odd Petter, Tor Ole B. Odden, Christine Lindstrøm, and Marcos Caballero. "How computation can facilitate sensemaking about physics: A case study." Physics Education Research Conference 2018. Washington, DC: 2018. of PER Conference. 9 Aug. 2020 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14850&DocID=4997>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Odd Petter Sand and Tor Ole B. Odden and Christine Lindstrøm and Marcos Caballero", Title = {How computation can facilitate sensemaking about physics: A case study}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2018}, Address = {Washington, DC}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {August 1-2}, Year = {2018} }
Refer Export Format

%A Odd Petter Sand
%A Tor Ole B. Odden
%A Christine Lindstrøm
%A Marcos Caballero
%T How computation can facilitate sensemaking about physics: A case study
%S PER Conference
%D August 1-2 2018
%C Washington, DC
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14850&DocID=4997
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2018
%O August 1-2
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Sand, Odd Petter
%A Odden, Tor Ole B.
%A Lindstrøm, Christine
%A Caballero, Marcos
%D August 1-2 2018
%T How computation can facilitate sensemaking about physics: A case study
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2018
%C Washington, DC
%S PER Conference
%8 August 1-2
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14850&DocID=4997


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