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Abstract Title: Investigating the effects of modified equipotential diagrams on student interpretation
Abstract: In this study, the effect of a visual change to equipotential diagrams is investigated.  Equipotential diagrams are often drawn with a uniform color and thickness to each equipotential line. The values of each equipotential are usually not given and students must infer the "size" of the equipotential from the density of the lines and/or the sign of the point charge(s). Here we present the results from modifying equipotential diagrams to use color variation and line thickness to indicate the sign and amount of the potential. These changes - which are consistent with theories of grounded/embodied cognition - exploit students' innate ability to perceive color and line thickness variations to communicate the variation of the electric potential. Students' were randomly assigned to the traditional or modified diagrams and asked to compare electric potentials for indicated points on given diagrams. Preliminary results indicate that these modified color diagrams are helpful for instruction.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session III
Poster Number: C75
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Rebecca Rosenblatt
Illinois State University
218 Willard Ave
Bloomginton, IL 61701
Phone: 6144609502
and Co-Presenter(s)
Jacob Cermak

Amber Sammons

Ray Zich

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster