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Abstract Title: Sequential versus simultaneous synthesis problem solving: An exploration of students' visual gaze
Abstract: We report a study on how students process two types of synthesis physics problems, simultaneous and sequential problems. Simultaneous problems require concurrent application of multiple concepts and sequential tasks require chronological application of different concepts. Twenty-two students having taken introductory calculus-based physics courses participated in the study.  Using eye tracker, we explored their visual gaze when they tackled the problems and articulated their strategies. Results from the eye tracking data and verbal responses revealed that regardless of the type of synthesis problems, the students' gaze time was longer on the texts than on the diagrams. However, they spent more time on the diagram for the sequential tasks than for the simultaneous tasks. Further, they focused more on aspects of the diagram requiring interpretation and derivation of information for the sequential tasks and had a better performance (i.e., successfully identify the pertinent concepts, intermediate variables and generate an appropriate problem solving strategy).
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: B39

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Bashirah Ibrahim
Department of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Lin Ding, Department of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University

Ian Krajbich, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University