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Types of explanations students use to explain answers to conceptual physics questions
written by Anne T. Alesandrini and Paula R. L. Heron
In order to investigate student ability to use -- and communicate -- correct and complete reasoning, we examine written explanations from students in introductory university physics courses who have been prompted to answer a conceptual physics question and to "explain." Rather than focusing on context-specific reasoning difficulties, we examine the variation in what, to students, may constitute satisfying explanations, paying attention to what is present beyond what might score points on an instructor's rubric. We present six different types of explanations with examples that illustrate the breadth of student responses. This broad view of student explanations has the potential to guide instruction aimed at the development of student explanation and argumentation skills in ways that leverage and are responsive to how students initially explain their reasoning.
Physics Education Research Conference 2019
Part of the PER Conference series
Provo, UT: July 24-25, 2019
Pages 21-25
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Behavior
- Communication
= Representations
= Writing
- Student Characteristics
= Skills
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2019…
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.2019.pr.Alesandrini
NSF Number:
1821123
Keyword:
PERC 2019
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created January 2, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 2, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 2, 2020
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Record Link
AIP Format
A. Alesandrini and P. Heron, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2019, Provo, UT, 2019, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15246&DocID=5161).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Alesandrini and P. Heron, Types of explanations students use to explain answers to conceptual physics questions, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2019, Provo, UT, 2019, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15246&DocID=5161>.
APA Format
Alesandrini, A., & Heron, P. (2019, July 24-25). Types of explanations students use to explain answers to conceptual physics questions. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2019, Provo, UT. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15246&DocID=5161
Chicago Format
Alesandrini, Anne T., and Paula Heron. "Types of explanations students use to explain answers to conceptual physics questions." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2019, Provo, UT, July 24-25, 2019. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15246&DocID=5161 (accessed 29 October 2020).
MLA Format
Alesandrini, Anne T., and Paula Heron. "Types of explanations students use to explain answers to conceptual physics questions." Physics Education Research Conference 2019. Provo, UT: 2019. 21-25 of PER Conference. 29 Oct. 2020 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15246&DocID=5161>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Anne T. Alesandrini and Paula Heron", Title = {Types of explanations students use to explain answers to conceptual physics questions}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2019}, Pages = {21-25}, Address = {Provo, UT}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 24-25}, Year = {2019} }
Refer Export Format

%A Anne T. Alesandrini
%A Paula Heron
%T Types of explanations students use to explain answers to conceptual physics questions
%S PER Conference
%D July 24-25 2019
%P 21-25
%C Provo, UT
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15246&DocID=5161
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2019
%O July 24-25
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Alesandrini, Anne T.
%A Heron, Paula
%D July 24-25 2019
%T Types of explanations students use to explain answers to conceptual physics questions
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2019
%C Provo, UT
%P 21-25
%S PER Conference
%8 July 24-25
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15246&DocID=5161


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