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ERIC Number: ED536709
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 136
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-1786-1
A Descriptive Study of Cooperative Problem Solving Introductory Physics Labs
Knutson, Paul Aanond
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota
The purpose of this study was to determine the ways in which cooperative problem solving in physics instructional laboratories influenced the students' ability to provide qualitative responses to problems. The literature shows that problem solving involves both qualitative and quantitative skills. Qualitative skills are important because those skills are the foundation for the quantitative aspects of problem solving. (Chi, et al., 1981). The literature also indicates that cooperative problem solving should enhance the students' performance. As a practical matter surveys of departments that require introductory physics classes expect their students to have general qualitative problem solving skills. The students in this study were asked to solve problem(s) before coming to a lab session and then cooperatively assess whether or not their answers were correct by conducting a laboratory activity for which they had to plan the procedure and obtain the necessary results. TA's were expected to provide instruction under a cognitive apprenticeship model. The results showed that the cooperative problem solving laboratories had almost no impact on the students' problem solving skills as measured from the start of a two hour lab session to the end of the lab session...The reason for this may have been that students did not have enough experience in the solving of different kinds of problems in the two domains of Newton's second Law and gravitation to overcome their misconceptions and become competent. Another possibility was that the TA's did not follow the cognitive apprenticeship model as consistently as might have been needed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A