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Kok, Karel; Priemer, Burkhard; Musold, Wiebke; Masnick, Amy – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
In this study with 153 middle school students, we investigate the influence of the number of decimal places from the reading of a measurement device on students' decisions to change or keep an initial hypothesis about falling objects. Participants were divided into three groups, introduced to two experiments--the time it takes a free falling…
Descriptors: Middle School Students, Measurement, Physics, Science Instruction
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Ceuppens, Stijn; Bollen, Laurens; Deprez, Johan; Dehaene, Wim; De Cock, Mieke – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
We design, validate, and administer a 24-item test to study student understanding of linear functions in 1D kinematics [x(t)] and mathematics [y(x)] in the 9th grade. The items assess identification and comparison of initial position and velocity in 1D kinematics and of the y intercept and slope in mathematics using a graph or an algebraic…
Descriptors: Grade 9, Problem Solving, Student Attitudes, Mechanics (Physics)
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Eaton, Philip; Johnson, Keith; Barrett, Frank; Willoughby, Shannon – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
For proper assessment selection understanding the statistical similarities amongst assessments that measure the same, or very similar, topics is imperative. This study seeks to extend the comparative analysis between the brief electricity and magnetism assessment (BEMA) and the conceptual survey of electricity and magnetism (CSEM) presented by…
Descriptors: Test Theory, Item Response Theory, Comparative Analysis, Energy
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Chari, Deepa; Potvin, Geoff – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
There has been little work done in exploring the variations in admissions practices between different types of physics graduate programs. In this paper, we compared admissions practices in master's programs to a parallel data set collected from doctoral departments to understand the relative importance of particular admission criteria and looked…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Departments, Masters Degrees, Comparative Analysis
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Susac, Ana; Bubic, Andreja; Planinic, Maja; Movre, Marko; Palmovic, Marijan – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
Typical physics textbook problems often include supportive diagrams that visualize the physical situation although the potential benefits of providing such diagrams is not yet fully established. We used eye tracking to explore the role of supportive diagrams in problem solving. Including a supportive diagram with the text of the problem improved…
Descriptors: Role, Visual Aids, Problem Solving, Eye Movements
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Zu, Tianlong; Munsell, Jeremy; Rebello, N. Sanjay – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
Even though it has been shown that retrieval practice could foster deeper learning and better long-term retention in other domains such as psychology, it is rarely studied in the context of physics learning where students need to solve more complicated problems. To an even lesser degree is comparing retrieval-based learning with other active…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Recall (Psychology)
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Chen, Luchang; Xu, Shaorui; Xiao, Hua; Zhou, Shaona – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
Students' epistemological beliefs have been confirmed to influence students' physics learning in an essential way. The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) is an assessment instrument for evaluating students' beliefs towards physics learning. In the present study, 817 students participate in our investigation with the mandarin…
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Physics, Student Attitudes, Beliefs
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Woitkowski, David – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
University professors' views of nature of science play an important role when guiding undergraduate students into the culture of practicing physicists. While these topics have a long-standing tradition in U.S. curricula they are not part of German educational standards or curricula. Additionally professors' views--in contrast to those of their…
Descriptors: College Faculty, Teacher Attitudes, Scientific Principles, Academic Standards
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Gouvea, Julia; Sawtelle, Vashti; Nair, Abhilash – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
Epistemologically oriented reforms of physics courses aim to change the way students think about knowledge and approach learning in physics. A broader goal of these reforms is to impact how students think about knowledge and learning in other courses. We investigate the effects of epistemological reforms in a physics course on knowing and learning…
Descriptors: Epistemology, Physics, Biology, Science Instruction
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Passante, Gina; Kohnle, Antje – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
Time dependence is of fundamental importance for the description of quantum systems, but is particularly difficult for students to master. We describe the development and evaluation of a combined simulation-tutorial to support the development of visual understanding of time dependence in quantum mechanics. The associated interactive simulation…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Simulation, Quantum Mechanics
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Nissen, Jayson M. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
Self-efficacy, the belief in one's ability to succeed in learning tasks, predicts learning and success in education broadly and physics specifically. While self-efficacy increases for students in most introductory science and mathematics courses, self-efficacy consistently decreases for women in physics courses. This study used the experience…
Descriptors: Self Efficacy, Gender Differences, High School Students, Physics
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Mešic, Vanes; Neumann, Knut; Aviani, Ivica; Hasovic, Elvedin; Boone, William J.; Erceg, Nataša; Grubelnik, Vladimir; Sušac, Ana; Glamocic, Džana Salibašic; Karuza, Marin; Vidak, Andrej; Alihodžic, Adis; Repnik, Robert – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
Even graduate physics students have many misconceptions about basic wave optics phenomena. This suggests that there is much room for improvement of the traditional wave optics curriculum. An effective way for initiating a curriculum change is to reconsider and revise the expected learning outcomes and corresponding assessment instruments. By…
Descriptors: College Students, College Science, Physics, Knowledge Level
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Young, Nicholas T.; Allen, Grant; Aiken, John M.; Henderson, Rachel; Caballero, Marcos D. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
Computation is a central aspect of 21st century physics practice; it is used to model complicated systems, to simulate impossible experiments, and to analyze mountains of data. Physics departments and their faculty are increasingly recognizing the importance of teaching computation to their students. We recently completed a national survey of…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Computation, Teaching Methods
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Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
We discuss an investigation of the difficulties that students in a calculus-based university introductory physics course have with electric field and the superposition principle for the case of a continuous charge distribution and how that research was used as a guide in the development, validation, and evaluation of a tutorial on these topics to…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, College Science, Energy
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Keebaugh, Christof; Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2019
We discuss an investigation of student difficulties with the corrections to the energy spectrum of the hydrogen atom for the intermediate field Zeeman effect using degenerate perturbation theory (DPT). The investigation was carried out in advanced quantum mechanics courses by administering free-response and multiple-choice questions and conducting…
Descriptors: Energy, Scientific Concepts, Quantum Mechanics, Advanced Courses
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