Polarization of physics on global courses

Journal article


Alinea, Allan L. and Naylor, Wade. (2015). Polarization of physics on global courses. Physics Education. 50(2), pp. 210-217. https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-9120/50/2/210
AuthorsAlinea, Allan L. and Naylor, Wade
Abstract

Since October 2010, the Chemistry–Biology Combined Major Program, an international course taught in English at Osaka University, has been teaching small classes (no more than 20 in size). We present data from the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) given to first-year classical mechanics students (N = 47 students over three years) pre and post score, for a class that predominantly uses interactive engagement, such as MasteringPhysics. Our findings show a G-factor improved score of about ∼0.18, which is marginally about the average of a traditional-based course. Furthermore, we analyze in detail a set of six questions from the FCI, involving the identification of forces acting on a body. We find that student answers tend to cluster about 'polarizing choices'—a pair of choices containing the correct choice and a wrong choice, with the latter corresponding to a superset of forces in the former. Our results are suggestive that students have a good idea of the right set of forces acting on a given system, but the inclusion of extra force(s) brings about confusion; something that may be explained by misleading ontological categorization of forces. In an appendix A we also comment on possible correlations between the pre/post score and the level of English ability on entry to the course.

Year2015
JournalPhysics Education
Journal citation50 (2), pp. 210-217
PublisherInstitute of Physics
ISSN0031-9120
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-9120/50/2/210
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84923185194
Page range210-217
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online03 Dec 2014
Publication process dates
Accepted19 Feb 2015
Deposited27 Jun 2023
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