University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group


Activity Based Physics Thinking Problems

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In many introductory physics textbooks, most, if not all, of the end-of-chapter problems are find-the-equation and plug-and-chug. Those that are not tend to be difficult and require a sophisticated mix of skills. Qualitative questions are usually "fuzzy". As a result, they are rarely assigned, and when they are, students don't gain much from solving them.

In the pages linked to this one, we have collected a number of problems which attempt to link a student's qualitative understanding of concepts with specific problems. Some serve well as probes of student understanding in a think-aloud taped-interview protocol. Most have been written by the Maryland PERG. Some are adapted from other sources. Some valuable sources of problems include:

Other collections of thinking problems available include: Table of Contents

Go back to the Activity Based Physics page

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Maintained by University of Maryland PERG
Comments and questions may be directed to E. F. Redish
Last modified June 21, 2002