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Eurasian Journal of Physics and Chemistry Education
Volume 7, Issue 1 (April 2015), pp. 18-28

DOI: 10.12973/ejpce.2015.00082a

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Research Article

Published online on Jun 29, 2016

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Teaching Basic Vector Concepts: A Worksheet for the Recovery of Students’ Vector Understanding

Umporn Wutchana, Karnpitcha Bunrangsri & Narumon Emarat

Abstract

The investigation of high-school students’ qualitative understanding of graphical vector addition in one and two dimensions has revealed that students did not grasp the important basic concepts about vectors. Based on their misunderstanding, we had designed a worksheet in order to help them learn such topics in class more effectively. The content in the worksheet includes vector directions, magnitude, addition and subtraction. A 2-page
worksheet was constructed and distributed to 3 classes of high-school students in a large public school (n=103).
Students took approximately 30-40 minutes to complete the worksheet. A seven-item diagnostic quiz was applied as a pre/post-test in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the worksheet. Using paired-sample t-test, results from the diagnostic quiz showed that the students’ average post-test scores for all classes were significantly higher than their average pre-test scores (p<0.000). In addition, the class average normalized gains ranged from 0.69-0.76 which was considered as high gains that might be rarely reached by conducting classes even with active learning activities.
Keywords: Vector, Vector addition; Vector subtraction; Resultant vectors; Worksheet


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