Influence of visual cueing and outcome feedback on physics problem solving and visual attention

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Show simple item record Rouinfar, Amy en_US 2014-11-21T20:51:55Z 2014-11-21T20:51:55Z 2014-11-21
dc.description.abstract Research has demonstrated that attentional cues overlaid on diagrams and animations can help students attend to the relevant areas and facilitate problem solving. In this study we investigate the influence of visual cues and outcome feedback on students’ problem solving, performance, reasoning, and visual attention as they solve conceptual physics problems containing a diagram. The participants (N=90) were enrolled in an algebra-based physics course and were individually interviewed. During each interview students solved four problem sets while their eye movements were recorded. The problem diagrams contained regions that were relevant to solving the problem correctly and separate regions related to common incorrect responses. Each problem set contained an initial problem, six isomorphic training problems, and a transfer problem. Those in the cued condition saw visual cues overlaid on the training problems. Those in the feedback conditions were told if their responses (answer and explanation) were correct or incorrect. Students’ verbal responses were used to determine their accuracy. The study produced two major findings. First, short duration visual cues coupled with correctness feedback can improve problem solving performance on a variety of insight physics problems, including transfer problems not sharing the surface features of the training problems, but instead sharing the underlying solution path. Thus, visual cues can facilitate re-representing a problem and overcoming impasse, enabling a correct solution. Importantly, these cueing effects on problem solving did not involve the solvers’ attention necessarily embodying the solution to the problem. Instead, the cueing effects were caused by solvers attending to and integrating relevant information in the problems into a solution path. Second, these short duration visual cues when administered repeatedly over multiple training problems resulted in participants becoming more efficient at extracting the relevant information on the transfer problem, showing that such cues can improve the automaticity with which solvers extract relevant information from a problem. Both of these results converge on the conclusion that lower-order visual processes driven by attentional cues can influence higher-order cognitive processes associated with problem solving. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Financial support was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under awards 1138697 and 0841414. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject physics education en_US
dc.subject problem solving en_US
dc.subject visual attention en_US
dc.title Influence of visual cueing and outcome feedback on physics problem solving and visual attention en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Department of Physics en_US
dc.description.advisor N. Sanjay Rebello en_US
dc.subject.umi Physics (0605) en_US
dc.subject.umi Science Education (0714) en_US 2014 en_US December en_US

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