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Implementing a focus on “diagrams for understanding” in a first year physics unit

Creagh, C. (2008) Implementing a focus on “diagrams for understanding” in a first year physics unit. In: Proceedings of the Australian Institute of Physics, 18th National Congress, 30 November - 5 December, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

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In 2005 the student cohort of a first year physics unit, Principles of Physics, changed from students doing physics majors to students who were mostly doing non-physics majors. The majority of the new cohort did not have an extensive physics background and this prompted the author to consider the importance of well-constructed diagrams as an effective tool for facilitating student understanding. Construction of diagrams was modelled in lectures, discussed in tutorials and 20% of the assignment marks were allocated to diagrams. Various technologies were trialled in lectures to allow real-time modelling of diagram construction, the best to date being a Tablet PC with Microsoft OneNote software. This paper provides the reason for choosing diagrams to facilitate learning and describes how the diagrams were incorporated into learning activities. It is a preliminary paper which sets the scene
for further research and therefore does not offer any detailed evaluation of the results of these actions.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Publisher: Australian Institute of Physics
Notes: Poster presentation
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