Students - Presentation

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Students

struggle with questions about a variable which was unchanged in the graph and/or pictorial data and with data that is not . controlled, i.e. too . many variables are changed at once. .. Students make persistent and consistent logical mistakes concluding .

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Students






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Slide1

Students

struggle with questions about a variable which was unchanged in the graph and/or pictorial data and with data that is not controlled, i.e. too many variables are changed at once.Students make persistent and consistent logical mistakes concluding Since B changes and A does not, then A must not affect/change B or Since A changed and B changed, A must affect B.

Comparing two activities' effectiveness improving reasoning with multiple-variable informationRebecca Rosenblatt and James Perrone

While

students are quite good at the directly affect variable relationships, they do not understand how to deal with variables that were unchanged or when the experiment was not controlled, i.e. more than one variable is changed at once. A majority of the errors made by students are consistent with failure to control variables and incorrect logical reasoning. We created two PER based instructional activities designed for lab or recitation. Both activities moderately improved students’ understanding. Because one focused on control of variables and the other on logic this is additional evidence that both skills are needed to correctly work with these questions. In addition, because skills on the untaught topic of light bulbs also increased this is evidence that students are abstracting the skills of control of variables and logical reasoning with data.

Directly Affected Relationships Students Score 85% or better.

DA: How does X effect Y? How does length affect Period?

Not controlled Variables Relationships Students Scores 3

0% - 50% only

Unchanged: How does Z effect Y? How does mass affect Period?

Unchanged Variable Relationships Students Score 3

0% - 40% only

Not controlled: How does mass (length) effect Period?

Scores depend strongly on the variable asked about

Laboratory on

control of variables reasoning

Tutorial

on logical reasoning

Individual pre-lab

– design a lab to find mass and surface area’s effect on the static friction.

Instructor lead demonstrations involving comparing data from two pendulums and what conclusions can be made about mass, length, release angle’s effect on the period. Several different comparison pendulums were used. Emphasis was placed on the need for control of variables while experimenting.Small group execution of the friction lab from students’ designs.Groups summarized their findings with graphs and presented their results to the whole lab via white boards

Individual – reading a one page explanation, with included examples, of what it means for variable A to affect (or not affect) variable BSmall group completion of a worksheet with the following tasksFrom a pendulum data table students made substantiated cause/effect conclusions about the variables Student Dialogue Questions focused on common logical issuesCreated graphs from some of the data table and made rules about how the data should look when a variable affects and does not affect another variable

Summary of Reported Findings

1.

Summarize studies

showing large differences in student ability to use, and reason with, certain data in graph or pictorial form. A majority of the errors are consistent with failure to control variables or illogical reasoning from the data. 2. Report on the effectiveness of two different one-hour group activities designed to improve student understanding. Both activities improved student ability to draw conclusions and answer questions about the data in graph or pictorial form.

Conclusions

Type

Variable X

Graphs/PicsFrictionLight bulbsScoreGainScoreGainScoreGainControlledChanged91% 6%89% 23%91% 39%ControlledUnchanged50% 8%60% 18%61% 13%UncontrolledChanged64% 11%55% 0%53% 21%UncontrolledUnchanged--NA--65% 19%67% 32% ** Reported are the correct percentages post instruction with an additional activity. The gain is the improvement on each topic compared to traditional instruction. Since the two activities posttest scores and improvements were not significantly different they are averaged here.

DA/DN: How does X effect Y? How does mass affect Period?

Unchanged: How does Z effect Y? How does length affect Period?

Does Not Affect Relationship Students Score 70% - 85%.

Students make similar errors on more complex pictorial

experimental trials

Controlled & Changed Variable – e.g. left set of trials & question about mass 66% correctControlled & Unchanged Variable – left set of trials & about surface area or floor material42% correct Not controlled & Changed Variable – right set of trials & about floor material or mass 55% correctNot controlled & Unchanged Variable – right set of trials & about surface area44% correct

Controlled & Changed Variable – e.g. left set of trials & question about light bulb type 52% correctControlled & Unchanged Variable – left set of trials & about wire color or battery number38% correct Not controlled & Changed Variable – right set of trials & about battery # or light bulb type 42% correctNot controlled & Unchanged Variable – right set of trials & about wire color35% correct