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ERIC Number: EJ1078298
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1305-8223
Students' Representational Fluency at University: A Cross-Sectional Measure of How Multiple Representations Are Used by Physics Students Using the Representational Fluency Survey
Hill, Matthew; Sharma, Manjula Devi
EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, v11 n6 p1633-1655 Dec 2015
To succeed within scientific disciplines, using representations, including those based on words, graphs, equations, and diagrams, is important. Research indicates that the use of discipline specific representations (sometimes referred to as expert generated representations), as well as multi-representational use, is critical for problem solving and developing understanding. This paper consolidates these ideas using the Representational Fluency Survey (RFS) over two years with 334 students at The University of Sydney. Analysis shows that there was a significant difference between the representational fluency of the 1st year Fundamental and Regular students (low level 1st year physics courses) compared to the 1st year Advanced, 2nd year, 3rd year and Postgraduate level students. The existence of this distinct gap is further supported by evidence from qualitative coding that students with a high level of representational fluency use a greater number of representations and more visual and symbolic representations to explain their answers. There is no mention of such an overall trend of variation of representational use in extant literature, largely because there have been no studies that compare representational fluency across closely spaced levels of physics, or science, learning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A