lnu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Which representation is best? How students use representational information in problem solving
University of Sydney, Australia.
University of Sydney, Australia.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Language and Literature. Uppsala University. (Physics Education Research, Fysikens didaktik)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3244-2586
Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.
Show others and affiliations
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (2012), 2012Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We can present information to students, but the representation we use may change the way it is understood. Both diagrams and equations are seen as abstract physics representations, part of the physics disciplinary discourse (Airey & Linder, 2009), and can be notoriously difficult for students to understand (Woolnough, 2000). In this respect, Fredlund et al (2012) have suggested that different physics representations have different disciplinary affordances, that is, they perform different disciplinary work. In the area of refraction, Snell’s Law is often regarded as the essential form of information, but can Snell’s Law distract students from understanding simple questions? In this study, a survey with either a ray diagram or Snell’s Law as an equation was administered to over 300 first year university physics students. It was found that a ray diagram drawn as an example instead of Snell’s Law allows for a better reasoning tool to understand refraction of light for students both novice (219 students who had not studied physics previously) and experienced (98 students who had studied physics at high school). This finding has an impact on the way that optics are taught and understood at a high school and university level. The work suggests that the choice of representation may also be educationally critical in other areas of physics and science where a variety of representations including equations and diagrams are commonly used to share knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [en]
multiple representations, optics, Snell’s law, graphs, equations, ray diagrams, university physics
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-44442OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-44442DiVA: diva2:822111
Conference
The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, The University of Sydney, Australia, 26-28 September.
Available from: 2012-12-07 Created: 2015-06-15 Last updated: 2016-05-30Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Abstract

Authority records BETA

Airey, John

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Airey, John
By organisation
School of Language and Literature
Educational Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 70 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf