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Physics Problem-Solvers on Why They Generate Unprompted Diagrams
written by Michael Vignal and Bethany R. Wilcox
Previous work has shown that many physics students will draw unprompted diagrams while solving physics problems. These diagrams are distinct from prompted student-generated diagrams in that they tend to be smaller and contain fewer details, an unsurprising finding given that these two types of diagrams are generated for different reasons. In this study, we expand and elaborate on reasons physics problem-solvers generate diagrams and the differences between unprompted and prompted diagrams by analyzing a set of 10 interviews with undergraduates, graduates, postdocs, and faculty in physics. Interviewees were given several physics problems and diagramming tasks to anchor a subsequent conversation about diagramming while problem solving. In these conversations, participants reported that their unprompted diagrams help them: understand the situation and question; store, organize, and prioritize information; support solution strategies; and communicate information. Participants also shared their beliefs about the limitations of diagrams, including when they are not useful or stop being useful, as well as difficulties with generating diagrams.
Physics Education Research Conference 2021
Part of the PER Conference series
Virtual Conference: August 4-5, 2021
Pages 420-425
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Behavior
- Problem Solving
= Representational Use
- Lower Undergraduate
- Graduate/Professional
- Upper 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.2021…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 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.2021.pr.Vignal
Keyword:
PERC 2021
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created October 4, 2021 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
October 7, 2021 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 10, 2021
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Record Link
AIP Format
M. Vignal and B. Wilcox, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference, 2021, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15791&DocID=5520).
AJP/PRST-PER
M. Vignal and B. Wilcox, Physics Problem-Solvers on Why They Generate Unprompted Diagrams, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference, 2021, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15791&DocID=5520>.
APA Format
Vignal, M., & Wilcox, B. (2021, August 4-5). Physics Problem-Solvers on Why They Generate Unprompted Diagrams. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference. Retrieved October 23, 2021, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15791&DocID=5520
Chicago Format
Vignal, Michael, and Bethany Wilcox. "Physics Problem-Solvers on Why They Generate Unprompted Diagrams." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference, August 4-5, 2021. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15791&DocID=5520 (accessed 23 October 2021).
MLA Format
Vignal, Michael, and Bethany Wilcox. "Physics Problem-Solvers on Why They Generate Unprompted Diagrams." Physics Education Research Conference 2021. Virtual Conference: 2021. 420-425 of PER Conference. 23 Oct. 2021 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15791&DocID=5520>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Michael Vignal and Bethany Wilcox", Title = {Physics Problem-Solvers on Why They Generate Unprompted Diagrams}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2021}, Pages = {420-425}, Address = {Virtual Conference}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {August 4-5}, Year = {2021} }
Refer Export Format

%A Michael Vignal %A Bethany Wilcox %T Physics Problem-Solvers on Why They Generate Unprompted Diagrams %S PER Conference %D August 4-5 2021 %P 420-425 %C Virtual Conference %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15791&DocID=5520 %O Physics Education Research Conference 2021 %O August 4-5 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings %A Vignal, Michael %A Wilcox, Bethany %D August 4-5 2021 %T Physics Problem-Solvers on Why They Generate Unprompted Diagrams %B Physics Education Research Conference 2021 %C Virtual Conference %P 420-425 %S PER Conference %8 August 4-5 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15791&DocID=5520


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