ERIC Number: EJ1091408
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
Alternative Representations for Algebraic Problem Solving: When Are Graphs Better than Equations?
Mielicki, Marta K.; Wiley, Jennifer
Journal of Problem Solving, v9 n1 Article 1 p3-12 Jan 2016
Successful algebraic problem solving entails adaptability of solution methods using different representations. Prior research has suggested that students are more likely to prefer symbolic solution methods (equations) over graphical ones, even when graphical methods should be more efficient. However, this research has not tested how representation format might affect solution success, and whether the efficiency of solution varies depending on the nature of the problem solving task. This study addressed the question of whether symbolic or graphical representation format provides different affordances with respect to two different types of problems: computation and interpretation. Graphical representation was found to facilitate problem solving among college students, and problems that required the comparison of slopes were more difficult when presented in a symbolic format than in graphical format.
Descriptors: Algebra, Problem Solving, Graphs, Equations (Mathematics), Mathematical Models, Symbols (Mathematics), Mathematical Logic, Computation, College Students, Test Format, Cognitive Style, Learning Strategies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois