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Abstract Title: Can Analogical Reasoning Help Students Learn to Solve Synthesis Problems?
Abstract: Synthesis problems - physics problems which require the application of multiple concepts – can be a source of difficulty for students. In previous studies, we have seen that students struggle with synthesis problems due to bottlenecks beyond just individual concept mastery, namely recognition and joint application of the required concepts. We report on a series of experiments across multiple introductory physics classes which investigated the potential of analogical reasoning as a training tool for such problems.  These analogical reasoning training activities involved varied forms of guided questions and comparisons and different types of worked examples, designed to elicit student comparison of the structure of two similar problems.  We report on the relative effectiveness of the types of comparisons invoked, and the relative effectiveness of these training activities compared to other formats, such as summarization of worked examples.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Ryan Badeau
The Ohio State University
191 W Woodruff Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
and Co-Presenter(s)
Daniel White, Bashirah Ibrahim, Lin Ding, Andrew Heckler