Novel ways to ask physics questions

by Stephanie Chasteen on July 22, 2008

[[AAPT Sesson:  Text editing, problem posing, and jeopardy tasks in introductory physics, Fran Mateycik]]

I heard a couple neat ideas at a talk on some different ways to pose physics questions.

Jeopardy

Students are given a part of a problem and then asked to come up with the problem statement.  For example, F = m(hull)*g – rho(water)*V(submerged)*g.  What problem would this be part of the solution to?  She found that most students were able to recognize the individual terms and what they represented but seemed to struggle with putting this together into a coherent statement of the actual problem to be posed.

Text editing

In this task, students are given a problem and asked to determine if there is missing information or information that’s not relevant?  For example, in some random question perhaps the length of the rod isn’t relevant information.  She found that most students could identify information that was missing but had a lot of trouble identifying information that wasn’t relevant.

You can find the researchers’ website here.

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