Ranking Task Exercises in Physics

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9780130223555: Ranking Task Exercises in Physics

A supplement for courses in Algebra-Based Physics and Calculus-Based Physics. * A unique resource for physics instructors who are looking for tools to incorporate more conceptual analysis in their courses. This supplement contains approximately 200 Ranking Task Exercises which cover all classical physics topics (with the exception of optics). Ranking Tasks are an innovative type of conceptual exercise that asks students to make comparative judgments about a set of variations on a particular physical situation. Those who have used Ranking Tasks have found that they frequently elicit students' natural ideas, rather than a memorized response, about the behavior of a given physical system. In addition, asking students to consider the same situation in a variety of ways often helps them begin to correct any misconceptions they may have: When students realize that they have given different answers to variations of the same question, they begin to think about why they responded as they did in each case. This, in turn, prompts them to consider which responses they believe in more strongly, and why. * In the Prentice Hall Series in Educational Innovation.

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From the Inside Flap:

Preface

On November 21-23, 1991, a workshop for two-year college physics teachers on Conceptual Exercises and Overview Case Studies was held at Joliet Junior College, Joliet, IL. This workshop was the first of many such workshops conducted as part of the Two-Year College (TYC) Physics Workshop Project, which was sponsored by Joliet Junior College, Lee College (Baytown, TX), and a series of grants from the Division of Undergraduate Education of the National Science Foundation. At one of the sessions in this workshop, the participants, working together in groups of three or four, constructed ranking tasks and then presented them to the larger group for feedback and response. (A ranking task is a conceptual exercise created by David P. Maloney as one of the many ways to ascertain a student's understanding of concepts.)

During the 1991-98 period, the TYC Physics Workshop Project continued to hold workshops during which a variety of ranking tasks for introductory physics were developed at or as part of the follow-up activities after the workshop by the participants. During the academic year 1993-94, the ranking tasks that had been developed as part of the TYC Physics Workshops were categorized and put into electronic form at Lee College. These were called A Collection of Physics Ranking Tasks and were distributed to previous workshop participants in May 1994. During the academic year 1994-95, a subset of these ranking tasks and newly developed ones were further refined and widely distributed by Joliet Junior College as A Selection of Physics Ranking Tasks. This book is a revision and expansion of that book.

Although these materials are copyrighted by Prentice Hall, professors have the right to use the materials for noncommercial educational purposes and can copy or have copied the materials in the book for the students in their classes. However, these materials, whether in their original or in an altered form, may not otherwise be distributed, transmitted, or included in other documents without express written permission from the publisher. We have included a CD with this look that has a pdf version of each ranking task exercise in 8 1/2 x I 1 format to further facilitate professors' use of these materials in their own classes, workshops, or for any noncommercial use. If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, please contact Adobe's web site (adobe), where it can be downloaded for free. This software will allow you to print and/or modify these ranking tasks.

In the first section, we have included some background material, including sample and practice ranking tasks, which give students an understanding of this type of instrument, and examples of how to complete a ranking task. The main body of ranking tasks is divided into broad topical areas, with mechanics in the first section. The second section includes properties of matter, heat and thermodynamics, and waves. The third section covers electricity and magnetism. And finally, we have included an answer key for this edition.

You are invited to visit our web site for corrections, updates, and additional ranking tasks (tycphysics). If you have any questions about these ranking tasks, please contact us.

Tom O'Kuma tokuma@lee
Dave Maloney maloney@ipfw
Curtis Hieggelke curth@jjc.cc.il.us

From the Back Cover:

Those who have used Ranking Tasks have found that they frequently elicit students' natural ideas, rather than a memorized response, about the behavior of a given physical system. In addition, asking students to consider the same situations in a variety of ways often helps them begin to correct any misconceptions they may have. When students realize that they have given different answers to variations of the same question, they begin to think about why they responded as they did in each case. This, in turn, prompts them to consider which responses they believe in more strongly, and why.

The basic atructure of a Ranking Task comprise four elements:

  • a description of the physical situation including any constraints and the basis for ranking different arrangements
  • a set of figures showing the different arrangements of the situation to be compared
  • a place to record the ranking of each variation
  • a place to explain the reason for each ranking choice

A CD-ROM in the back of the book provides each Ranking Task in a pdf file for ease of use in printing and copying for non-commercial classroom needs.

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