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PERC 2018 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Student use and coordination of computerized and tangible visualization tools
Abstract: In order to become productive physicists, students must learn to use and coordinate multiple representations of physical systems. For example, 3D scalar fields like the electric potential are difficult to visualize and physicists have many visualization strategies. We have developed an instructional task to help students visualize the 3D scalar electric potential. Students are asked to draw equipotential surfaces on a whiteboard and are given a plastic surface model of the potential function and a Mathematica notebook with several visualizations of the scalar field.  By examining classroom video of students working in groups, we have identified ways the students used and coordinated the whiteboard, Mathematica notebook, and plastic surface.  We find that the whiteboard tended to serve as a space for group thinking and solution presentation, whereas the students most often used the Mathematica notebook and plastic surface to pose questions and notice patterns. 
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A3

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jonathan W. Alfson
Oregon State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Paul J. Emigh, Aaron Wangberg, Robyn Wangberg, Elizabeth Gire