University of Twente Student Theses


Comparing novice and expert modelers on a physics modeling task

Maas, Ewald T.A. (2011) Comparing novice and expert modelers on a physics modeling task.

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Abstract:This exploratory study aims to answer the research question: “Are there specific differences between novice and expert modelers on the general strategies they employ when building a physics model in an inquiry modeling environment?” In order to answer this question four novice modelers performed a physics modeling task while thinking out loud. Their verbalizations were captured and coded based on descriptive theories of reasoning activities in inquiry modeling. The protocols of the novice modelers were analyzed both in the amount of time spent on various reasoning activities as well as the strategies that they employed. These results and the quality of their models were then compared to expert modelers who have performed the same task in a previous study by Van Muilwijk (2008). The results show that novices spent more time on orientation and less time on model evaluation compared to experts. They also incorporated orientation in returning reasoning cycles as opposed to experts. Recurring reasoning cycles support the finding by Van Muilwijk (2008) that model building is performed in sub steps. Furthermore, experts perform quick simulations during model evaluation and thus learn more from their model evaluation phases compared to novices. It is therefore suggested to teach novices to perform these quick evaluations in the same manner.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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