Asee peer logo

A Comparison of Student Misconceptions in Rotational and Rectilinear Motion

Download Paper |

Collection

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering Physics & Physics Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics & Physics

Page Count

27

Page Numbers

24.34.1 - 24.34.27

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19926

Download Count

194

Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Warren A. Turner Westfield State University

author page

Glenn W. Ellis Smith College

biography

Robert J. Beichner North Carolina State University

visit author page

For much of Professor Beichner's career he has focused his attention on redesigning introductory physics education and created the SCALE-UP (Student Centered Activities for Large Enrollment University Physics) project. SCALE-UP has been adopted at more than 250 universities and had spread to other content areas and into middle and high schools, necessitating a name change to Student Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

A comparison of student misconceptions in rotational and rectilinear motionThe Test of Understanding Graphics in Kinematics (TUG-K) has been modified to produce aTest of Understanding Graphics in Rotational Kinematics (TUG-R) to probe studentunderstanding of rotational kinematics. The seven objectives of the TUG-K were modified withthree questions to explore each objective resulting in a 21 question TUG-R which closelyparallels the original. For many questions the modification was a simple substitution of theequivalent rotational quantity for its linear counterpart in the question stem, answers and graph-axis labels. For the remainder of the questions the modification was straightforward. Forinstance, references to objects moving in a straight line were replaced by references to objectsspinning about a fixed axis.The TUG-R was administered to 198 students at a small, liberal arts college in New England.The use of a calculator was permitted and students were offered as much time as they wanted tocomplete the examination. No inducement or reward was offered to students to take theexamination and it was not counted toward their grade in the class. In order to make a moredirect comparison to the results of the TUG-K, the data were narrowed to consider only 93students where the TUG-R was administered post-instruction in both linear and rotationalkinematics. This group includes student instruction in a traditional, lecture-based format as wellas active engagement classrooms. Approximately 80% of the students were enrolled in analgebra-based course, the remainder in a calculus-based course.Post-instruction student responses on the TUG-K and TUG-R were compared. A 2 tailed z-testwas performed to assess whether or not differences in sample size can account for the differencesin results between the TUG-R and TUG-K which are reported. An objective by objective,question by question analysis of the results suggests the three basic types of misconceptionsnoted following post-instruction analysis of the TUG-K, namely graph type confusion, slopecalculation and slope vs. area confusion, continue to be exhibited at some level by studentstaking the TUG-R. However, significant differences were noted, with TUG-R studentsperforming better on every question in two of the seven objectives on 8 of the 21 questions andequally well on 9 of the remaining 13.Further work will be conducted to verify that these observations and conclusions remainconsistent as the testing sample is expanded across a broader spectrum of students of differentlevels, using different instructional techniques and at a larger cross section of institutions.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015