Case study: Students' use of multiple representations in problem solving

David Rosengrant, Alan Van Heuvelen, Eugenia Etkina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

28 Scopus citations


Being able to represent physics problems and concepts in multiple ways for qualitative reasoning and problem solving is a scientific ability we want our students to develop. These representations can include but are not limited to words, diagrams, equations, graphs, and sketches. Physics education literature indicates that using multiple representations is beneficial for student understanding of physics ideas and for problem solving. To find out why and how students use different representations for problem solving, we conducted a case study of six students during the second semester of a two-semester introductory physics course. These students varied both in their use of representations and in their physics background. This case study helps us understand how students' use or lack of use of representations relates to their ability to solve problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2005 Physics Education Research Conference
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Feb 14 2006
Event2005 Physics Education Research Conference - Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Duration: Aug 10 2005Aug 11 2005

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Other2005 Physics Education Research Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City, UT

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Case study: Students' use of multiple representations in problem solving'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this