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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Eder Hernandez, Esmeralda Campos, Pablo Barniol, and Genaro Zavala
Studying students' problem-solving abilities in physics education research has consistently shown that novices focus on a problem's surface features rather than its physical principles. Previous research has observed that some electricity and magnetism students confuse electricity and magnetism concepts, often presented in parallel problems (or problems with similar surface features). This confusion has been referred to as interference. It is essential to compare students' performance in these problems to evaluate their understanding of these topics. The present work focuses on the students' understanding of interactions between charged particles (i.e., electric force) and electric currents (i.e., magnetic force). We present and compare the findings on students' conceptions when analyzing electric and magnetic interactions for different systems of field sources. We conducted this study with engineering students finishing a calculus-based course on electricity and magnetism. We administered a written, open-ended questionnaire with two sets of three items: one version contained only electricity problems, and the other contained only magnetism problems. Each item in the electricity version of the test had a parallel counterpart in the magnetism version. We used a phenomenographic approach to analyze our data to identify categories that emerged from students' answers. We identified four main ideas in the results: (a) the rule of signs (ROS), which does not evidence a complete conceptual understanding of electric interactions; (b) the force-field confusion due to the similarity of electricity and magnetism contexts; (c) the importance of semiotic representation when answering an electricity and magnetism problem, where the student's choice of representation indicates their understanding, and (d) the interference phenomenon, in which we find evidence of other factors besides those produced by the timing of instruction and administration of the tests.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 020101
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Education Foundations
- Alternative Conceptions
- Assessment
= Instruments
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
- Learning Theory
= Representations
- Problem Solving
= Expert-Novice Comparisons
= Representational Use
- Research Design & Methodology
= Data
= Statistics
- Student Characteristics
= Skills
Electricity & Magnetism
- General
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
Other Sciences
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- Lower Undergraduate
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Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020101
Keywords:
Knowledge In Pieces, ontological category framework, phenomenology
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 28, 2022 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
July 3, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
July 7, 2022
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AIP Format
E. Hernandez, E. Campos, P. Barniol, and G. Zavala, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18 (2), 020101 (2022), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020101).
AJP/PRST-PER
E. Hernandez, E. Campos, P. Barniol, and G. Zavala, Phenomenographic analysis of students’ conceptual understanding of electric and magnetic interactions, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18 (2), 020101 (2022), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020101>.
APA Format
Hernandez, E., Campos, E., Barniol, P., & Zavala, G. (2022, July 7). Phenomenographic analysis of students’ conceptual understanding of electric and magnetic interactions. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 18(2), 020101. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020101
Chicago Format
Hernandez, E, E. Campos, P. Barniol, and G. Zavala. "Phenomenographic analysis of students’ conceptual understanding of electric and magnetic interactions." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18, no. 2, (July 7, 2022): 020101, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020101 (accessed 19 April 2024).
MLA Format
Hernandez, Eder, Esmeralda Campos, Pablo Barniol, and Genaro Zavala. "Phenomenographic analysis of students’ conceptual understanding of electric and magnetic interactions." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18.2 (2022): 020101. 19 Apr. 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020101>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Eder Hernandez and Esmeralda Campos and Pablo Barniol and Genaro Zavala", Title = {Phenomenographic analysis of students’ conceptual understanding of electric and magnetic interactions}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {18}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020101}, Month = {July}, Year = {2022} }
Refer Export Format

%A Eder Hernandez %A Esmeralda Campos %A Pablo Barniol %A Genaro Zavala %T Phenomenographic analysis of students' conceptual understanding of electric and magnetic interactions %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 18 %N 2 %D July 7, 2022 %P 020101 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020101 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Hernandez, Eder %A Campos, Esmeralda %A Barniol, Pablo %A Zavala, Genaro %D July 7, 2022 %T Phenomenographic analysis of students' conceptual understanding of electric and magnetic interactions %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 18 %N 2 %P 020101 %8 July 7, 2022 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020101


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