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ERIC Number: EJ1106930
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2469-9896
Investigating the Role of Model-Based Reasoning While Troubleshooting an Electric Circuit
Dounas-Frazer, Dimitri R.; Van De Bogart, Kevin L.; Stetzer, MacKenzie R.; Lewandowski, H. J.
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v12 n1 p010137-1-010137-20 Jan-Jun 2016
We explore the overlap of two nationally recognized learning outcomes for physics lab courses, namely, the ability to model experimental systems and the ability to troubleshoot a malfunctioning apparatus. Modeling and troubleshooting are both nonlinear, recursive processes that involve using models to inform revisions to an apparatus. To probe the overlap of modeling and troubleshooting, we collected audiovisual data from think-aloud activities in which eight pairs of students from two institutions attempted to diagnose and repair a malfunctioning electrical circuit. We characterize the cognitive tasks and model-based reasoning that students employed during this activity. In doing so, we demonstrate that troubleshooting engages students in the core scientific practice of modeling.
American Physical Society. One Physics Ellipse 4th Floor, College Park, MD 20740-3844. Tel: 301-209-3200; Fax: 301-209-0865; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado (Boulder); Maine
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE1323101; DUE1323426; DUE1245313; DUE0962805