A coordination class analysis of judgments about animated motion
Thaden-Koch, Thomas C.
Dufresne, Robert J.
Gerace, William J.
Mestre, Jose P.
Leonard, William J.

Contributed poster at the 2003 AAPT Physics Education Research Conference, Madison, WI, August 6-7 2003.

The coordination class construct (CCC), invented by diSessa and Sherin in an effort to clarify what it means to learn and use scientific concepts, has not seen wide use. In this study, interviews with college students were analyzed in terms of the CCC. Students judged the realism of computer animations depicting balls rolling on a pair of tracks. When only one ball was presented, most students focused on the presence or absence of realistic speed changes. Adding a second ball drastically changed the judgments of students taking introductory physics; non-physics students were affected much less strongly. Ingredients of student decision-making were successfully explained with the CCC. Patterns of coordination were found; these patterns were able to account for patterns of judgment. Many students reached judgments contrary to their appropriate expectations about realistic motion by making inaccurate observations about animations, or by inappropriately adjusting observations or expectations during the decision-making process.

Paper for poster (PDF)233.75 KB