Computerized Problem Review

Mini Teach Group Summary
Donna Allen
Joytiben Desai
Albert Oldenburg


     To summarize the concepts of distance, velocity, vectors, and            
acceleration. To develop the methods of the problem solving and 
specific techniques. To give the students a form of computerized 
problem review. 


     Notebook paper, pencil, chalk, T-V monitor, VHS recorder, several 
sheets to be handed out (data necessary for ten problem repeats for 
each problem). 


I. Perspective and Update
A. The students became acquainted with and somewhat proficient in 
    l;measuring length, area, volume, time, mass, and various units of 
    each. Also vectors, scalars, error analysis, significant figures, 
    scientific notation, computer notation, orders of magnitude, 
    graphing, direct and inverse proportions.
B. The students have outlined the chapter(s). A form and procedure 
    were given.
C. Lectures and discussions were presented and developed.
D. Quizzes were used to encourage and enhance their concept 
    knowledge (10-20 questions, T,F, or multiple choice scantron, 10-15 
E. Experiments are used as a hands on first hand experience of the 
    concepts and their interactions. 
F. The examples of the problems are to abbreviate and quantize the 
    concepts, and also to show how they work together are developed 
    during our lecture and discussion periods.
G. A problem assignment is then given the students. In this case 
    problems 1-7 page 47 were assigned.
II. Procedure for Solving Physics Problems
A. From some previous experience in solving any word problem and 
    most physics are word problems, we know that there are key words 
    and tricks to get them solved.
B. O.K. now what are the key words in the first problem, in order? 
    Write them down on your paper.
C. Trick 1. Now since physics problems are similar to math problems 
    we will use the first letter of each word to represent that word 
    like an abbreviation of that word and label each number that we 
    know from the problem.
D. Trick 2. What letter or letters don't we know or have a number 
    for? Write these down also.
E. Trick 3. How does this unknown letter work together with the 
    known letters?
F. If we are stuck here we could go back to our definitions of 
    our vocabulary to help us out and refresh our memory.
G. In order to keep the problems organized I would like the student 
   to use this simple form from now on in physics.
    (page no.),(problem no.)
    47-1. Given: (diagram included),(equation form definitions)
H. After this the problems 1-7,pg.47, are assigned for the next 
I. These problems are handed in the next day. Then I present the 
    students with a ditto sheet of a repeat of from five to ten 
    problems for each problem of the text book assigned problems.
III Computerized Review
A. A computer with a monitor is set up for use in front of the 
B. A program is loaded into the computer and made to appear on the 
C. This program is our review program for doing the problems on page 
    47 (text) in this case.
D. At this point a student may be asked to operate the computer 
    with the teacher's guidance to enter the appropriate responses.
E. Briefly the program consists of (in basic) a looping statement 
    (to repeat the problem four times), several input statements to 
    input data for the specified problem, an equation to solve the 
    problem, an output print statement to visually see on the screen 
    the answer to the problem, then a next statement to repeat or go 
    back and redo the same problem as many times as the "FOR" statement 
F. Then we take the firs four of these problems and develop them 
    according to our physics problem solving procedure on paper 
    concurrently while developing them on the computer monitor screen. 
G. We then compare the student papers with the computer monitor 
    screen to see if we are on the right track.
H. After three repeats of each problem, that is each student is 
    writing down the given, equation, substitution, answer/units for 
    each repeat, we move on to the next problem.
I. We then do as many problems with three repeats as time permits.
J. Just before the bell rings I tell the students that they can do 
    as many problems from the ditto sheets as they can and they are to 
    be turned in as more homework problems with certain amount of 
    credit attached.
K. The chapter or unit test is usually predetermined and occurs on the 
    day the problems are handed in.
L. The problems are handed in upon entering class and the students 
    usually seat themselves quietly and quickly to proceed to take 
    their test.
IV. Conclusion:
A. When the students have the opportunity to do this computer review 
    their test scores typically are two to three times those of 
    comparable tests taken without the review.
B. Nearly all the students that participate enjoy and look forward 
    to doing these computer reviews.
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