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ERIC Number: EJ1004305
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 80
ISSN: ISSN-1554-9178
Problem-Solving Rubrics Revisited: Attending to the Blending of Informal Conceptual and Formal Mathematical Reasoning
Hull, Michael M.; Kuo, Eric; Gupta, Ayush; Elby, Andrew
Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, v9 n1 p010105-1-010105-16 Jan-Jun 2013
Much research in engineering and physics education has focused on improving students' problem-solving skills. This research has led to the development of step-by-step problem-solving strategies and grading rubrics to assess a student's expertise in solving problems using these strategies. These rubrics value "communication" between the student's qualitative description of the physical situation and the student's formal mathematical descriptions (usually equations) at two points: when initially setting up the equations, and when evaluating the final mathematical answer for meaning and plausibility. We argue that (i) neither the rubrics nor the associated problem-solving strategies explicitly value this kind of communication "during" mathematical manipulations of the chosen equations, and (ii) such communication is an aspect of problem-solving expertise. To make this argument, we present a case study of two students, Alex and Pat, solving the same kinematics problem in clinical interviews. We argue that Pat's solution, which connects manipulation of equations to their physical interpretation, is more expert-like than Alex's solution, which uses equations more algorithmically. We then show that the types of problem-solving rubrics currently available do not discriminate between these two types of solutions. We conclude that problem-solving rubrics should be revised or repurposed to more accurately assess problem-solving expertise. (Contains 2 tables, 1 figure and 4 footnotes.)
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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: Maryland