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# Phec sep 2011 m wallace

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Marsali's talk slides from PHEC in Lancaster, UK

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### Phec sep 2011 m wallace

1. 1. Observing the Problem Solving Strategies of Students Marsali Wallace Ross Galloway
2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Experimental design </li></ul><ul><li>A problem solving model </li></ul><ul><li>Its use by introductory students </li></ul><ul><li>What this means </li></ul>
3. 3. AIMS <ul><li>To see how and if students use the problem solving model given to them in class. </li></ul><ul><li>To look at the results in terms of successful and unsuccessful student behaviour in problem solving. </li></ul>
4. 4. <ul><li>“ Problem solving is cognitive processing directed at achieving a goal when no solution method is obvious to the problem solver.” </li></ul><ul><li>Mayer, R. E. (1992). Thinking, problem solving, cognition (2nd ed.). New York: Freeman. </li></ul>
5. 5. Think Aloud http://www.livescribe.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/LDApp.woa/wa/MLSOverviewPage?sid=4dNdFjpNtrV6
6. 6. The Questions Drawbridge Question A man is trying to push a large stone block across a uniform drawbridge which has a mass of m = 200kg. The mass of the large stone block and the man combined is M = 300kg. The drawbridge is of length L = 5.00m and is held up by a wire. The wire can withstand a maximum tension of 5000N. The vertical distance between the drawbridge and the point where the wire is attached to the wall is h = 4.00m. How far along from the wall can the man push the stone block before the bridge collapses? Assume g = 10 ms -2 Army Cadet Question An Army cadet uses a rope swing to cross a river. He starts on a high platform with his centre of mass 7.16 metres from the ground and grabs onto the rope which is 6m long, to swing. He lets go when the rope is vertical and his centre of mass is 1m off the ground. He needs to travel 5m horizontally to clear the river after letting go of the rope. If he successfully clears the river what is the tension in the rope just before he releases? The cadet’s weight is 80kg.
7. 7. Problem Solving Model <ul><li>Focus on the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the physics </li></ul><ul><li>Plan a solution </li></ul><ul><li>Execute the plan </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the answer </li></ul>Heller and Heller (1995) The Competent Problem Solver. University of Minnesota
8. 8. Results: Timeline of problem solving strategies Student 1. Drawbridge Question. Non-Major, Female Minnesota Model Time (Minutes) Code   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Focus on the problem                                                                                                                                                                                         Describing the physics                                                                                                                                                                                         Planning                                                                                                                                                                                         Execution                                                                                                                                                                                         Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                         Silence and no writing
9. 9. Results: Successful Student Student 6 FDPEE Model Focus on problem Describe Physics Plan Execute Evaluate Silence and no writing Percentage of time on Each Activity
10. 10. Results: Unsuccessful Student Student 4 FDPEE Model Focus on problem Describe Physics Plan Execute Evaluate Silence and no writing Percentage of time on Each Activity
11. 11. Discussion <ul><li>No use of the problem solving model given in class </li></ul><ul><li>What does this mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the model still useful? </li></ul>
12. 12. Discussion <ul><li>Across all students (successful or not) and both questions there was a lack of Evaluation and Planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Other studies agree (Kohl and Finkelstein, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>What we expect from Experts (Schoenfeld, 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>Control decisions and Metacognition </li></ul>Kohl, P.B. and Finkelstein, N.D. (2008) “Patterns of multiple representation use by experts and novices during physics problem solving”, Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research 4(1) 010111 Schoenfeld (1985) Mathematical Problem Solving. Academic Press, Florida.
13. 13. Kohl and Finkelstein, 2008 Kohl, P.B. and Finkelstein, N.D. (2008) “Patterns of multiple representation use by experts and novices during physics problem solving”, Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research 4(1) 010111
14. 14. Discussion <ul><li>Across all students (successful or not) and both questions there was a lack of Evaluation and Planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Other studies agree (Kohl and Finkelstein, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>What we expect from Experts (Schoenfeld, 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>Control decisions and Metacognition </li></ul>Kohl, P.B. and Finkelstein, N.D. (2008) “Patterns of multiple representation use by experts and novices during physics problem solving”, Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research 4(1) 010111 Schoenfeld (1985) Mathematical Problem Solving. Academic Press, Florida.
15. 15. Schoenfeld, 1985 <ul><li>“ On the surface it (the solution attempt) appears to be clumsy and unstructured… In reality, however, there was an extraordinary degree of control at all times during this solution.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Plans and their implementation were continually assessed, and then acted upon in accordance with the assessments.” </li></ul>Page 313. Schoenfeld (1985) Mathematical Problem Solving. Academic Press, Florida.
16. 16. Discussion <ul><li>Across all students (successful or not) and both questions there was a lack of Evaluation and Planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Other studies agree (Kohl and Finkelstein, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>What we expect from Experts (Schoenfeld, 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>Control decisions and Metacognition </li></ul>Kohl, P.B. and Finkelstein, N.D. (2008) “Patterns of multiple representation use by experts and novices during physics problem solving”, Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research 4(1) 010111 Schoenfeld (1985) Mathematical Problem Solving. Academic Press, Florida.
17. 17. Conclusions <ul><li>Students did not use the problem solving model given to them in class whether successful or unsuccessful in solving the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>There was a lack of Evaluation and Planning in all students, should we be looking for more Evaluation? </li></ul>