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Abstract Title: Students’ Understanding of Dot Product as a Projection in No-context, Work and Electric Flux Problems
Abstract: In this article we investigate students' understanding of dot product as a projection. In the first part, we compare students' performance in three isomorphic multiple-choice problems: no-context, work and electric flux. We administered one of the three problems to 422 students completing all introductory physics courses. In the second part, we analyze students' ability to connect the physical concepts with the dot product formal representation. We carried out interviews with 14 students, in which they answered the three same isomorphic problems. In the test administration we found a difference that was statistically significant: both physical context problems help students select the projection interpretation option. However, the percentages of students that select this option remained very low in the three problems. Moreover, in the interviews we noticed that students have serious difficulties to develop a coherent conceptual framework between the physical concepts and the dot product formal representation.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Genaro Zavala
Tecnologico de Monterrey
Garza Sada 2501
Monterrey, Non U.S. 64849
Phone: 8183582000
and Co-Presenter(s)
Pablo Barniol