Mapping students' epistemic framing of computational physics using network analysis
2012 (English)In: Physical Review Special Topics : Physics Education Research, ISSN 1554-9178, Vol. 8, no 1, 010115- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Solving physics problem in university physics education using a computational approach requires knowledge and skills in several domains, for example, physics, mathematics, programming, and modelling. These competences are in turn related to students’ beliefs about the domains as well as about learning. These knowledge and beliefs components are here referred to as epistemic elements, who together represent the students’ epistemic framing of the situation. The purpose of this study was to investigate university physics students’ epistemic framing when solving and visualizing a physics problem using a particle-spring model system. Students’ epistemic framings are analyzed before and after the task using a network analysis approach on interview transcripts, producing visual representations as epistemic networks. The results show that students change their epistemic framing from a modelling task, with expectancies about learning programming, to a physics task, in which they are challenged to use physics principles and conservation laws in order to troubleshoot and understand their simulations. This implies that the task, even though it is not introducing any new physics, help the students to develop a more coherent view of the importance of using physics principles in problem solving. The network analysis method used in this study is shown to give intelligible representations of the students’ epistemic framing and is proposed as a useful method of analysis of textual data.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 8, no 1, 010115- p.
physics education, computational physics, epistemic framing, simulation, network analysis, beliefs
Research subject didactics of physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-53233DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.8.010115ISI: 000302640900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-53233DiVA: diva2:510858