ERIC Number: ED264129
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Graphing Misconceptions and Possible Remedies Using Microcomputer-Based Labs.
Barclay, William L.
Graphing is a common and powerful symbol system for representing concrete data. Yet research has shown that students often have graphical misconceptions about how graphs are related to the concrete event. Currently, the Technical Education Research Center (TERC) is developing microcomputer-based laboratories (MBL) science units that use probes to gather data on such physical phenomena as motion, heat and temperature, and response time. With these probes attached to a microcomputer, real time graphs can be displayed of data as they are being collected. The research component of the project is looking at graphing misconceptions (such as confusing the graph of an event with a picture of the event) and how MBL can help students to learn graphing skills. Preliminary results suggest that MBLs do help in improving graphing skills. Attributes of the MBL science laboratories that seem important in this include: (1) the grounding of the graphical representation in the concrete action of the students; (2) the inclusion of different ways of experiencing the material (visual, kinesthetic, and analytic); and (3) the fast feedback that allows students to immediately relate the graph to the event. (JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Technical Education Research Center, Cambridge, MA.