Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

274

Date

2011

Date of Award

4-18-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Physics

Committee Chair

Donald R Franceschetti

Committee Member

Sally Blake

Committee Member

Elizabeth Gire

Abstract

There are several factors that contribute to the low success rates of introductory, calculus-based physics courses. A significant factor is prior experience. The Physics Experience Survey instrument that measures a student‘s prior experience learning physics will be discussed. A student is classified as either a novice learner, continuing learner, or experienced learner based on their responses to questions about prior coursework and confidence with specific physics topics. Administration of this survey to 123 students is an attempt to identify novice physics learners in calculus-based introductory physics courses who might benefit from a low-cost, 7-week (14 total contact hours) course supplement emphasizing fundamental skills and topics. Correlations between experience level and final course grade, first exam grade, and learner level are discussed. The course supplement and its impact on novice physics learners‘ conceptual understanding (as measured by the Force Concept Inventory) and problem solving skills (as measured by the Problem Solving Assessment) is described.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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