Solve Physics Problems Online

The modeling-based interactive engagement teaching method was used in the course.“Modeling” used here has a different meaning from “modeling” used in the notation of science education.Some examples given by Hayes explain well what he means by a problem.

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Larkin & Reif (1979) called the qualitative analysis a domain-specific representation.

In their study, they gave physics problems to experts and novices to solve by using a think-aloud protocol.

In this course, physics modeling and computer simulations are used to promote conceptual understanding utilizing the interactive engagement method.

Hake (1998) defines "interactive engagement (IE) methods as those designed at least in part to promote conceptual understanding through engagement of students in heads-on (always) and hands-on (usually) activities which yield immediate feedback through discussion with peers and/or instructors...” (Hake, 1998, p.65).

Experts know more and how to use the knowledge (Foster, 2000): The difference between experts and novices in physics is that experts know more physics.

According to Chi, Feltovich, & Glaser (1981), novices used surface features of the problem to solve problems.Modeling is used differently in physics when we say physics modeling; a few specific fundamental principles are used to construct physics models, such as linear momentum principle, energy principle, and angular momentum principle.So it is different than modeling used in science education.In almost all introductory physics courses problem solving is a main part of the course (Hsu, Brewe, Foster, & Harper, 2004).Physics textbook chapters not only have many drill and practice problems, which are well defined and have all relevant information, but also have many solved examples of problems (Foster, 2000).An expert’s process of solving a problem involves three steps (Reif & Heller, 1982). In contrast, novices do not tend to ask these kinds of questions during problem solving (Hendersen, 2002).The first one is the description stage which is a translation of the problem statement into a clear description of the problem. The second one is the search for a solution stage which uses generally applicable procedures. Novices are not likely to evaluate their answers (Maloney, 1994).The purpose is to make students realize some problems may contain missing or extra information.For missing information, they are required to make estimations and approximations (Henderson, 2002). They are called context-rich problems (Heller, Keith, & Anderson, 1992) or case study problems (Van Heavelen, 1991).They found that experts had qualitative physical explanations.Novices lacked physics knowledge to set up a qualitative physical explanation.

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