Multiple Representations and Epistemic Games in Introductory Physics Exam Solutions


Previous analysis of common exam questions in introductory physics at Florida International University has revealed differences in the number and type of epistemic games played by students in their solutions. Separated by course format (lecture/lab, lecture/lab/recitation, or inquiry-based), student work also shows varying use of multiple representational tools. Here we examine representation use in more detail to establish a descriptive picture of representation use across multiple instructors and course formats. We then compare these profiles with the epistemic games played by students, asking whether the same epistemic game shows the same pattern of representational tools across course types. We find that patterns of representation use vary by course format, but there are generally not clear representational “signatures” to uniquely identify epistemic games.

2014 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings