Engineering Students’ Practices and Behaviors During Mechanics Problem-Solving at the University of Rwanda: Exploring the Usage of Multiple Representations (79288)

Session Information:

Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Video Presentation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

This paper presents the outcomes of a University of Rwanda study evaluating the problem-solving practices and behaviors of engineering students in mechanics, with a specific focus on their utilization of multiple representations. Because of its abstract character, mechanics problem-solving, a critical component of physics, frequently presents difficulties. Multiple representations, including diagrams, graphs, and mathematical equations, have been shown to improve conceptual understanding and problem-solving in physics. The study dives into the mechanics of problem-solving practices and behaviors of University of Rwanda College of Science and Technology engineering students using a mixed-methods approach that includes questionnaires, interviews, and observations. A purposive sample of 99 students was chosen, with 20 students and three instructors chosen at random for interviews. Findings reveal that students heavily rely on algebraic equations, neglecting visual representations in mechanics problem-solving. Challenges identified include limited familiarity with alternative representations, difficulties transitioning between them, and a constrained understanding of their interrelationships. Recognizing these practices and challenges informs the design of more effective pedagogical interventions. Incorporating multiple representations in physics education stands as a potential avenue to bolster problem-solving skills and deepen comprehension of mechanics concepts among students.

Theogene Niyomufasha, University of Rwanda-College of Education, Rwanda
Celestin Ntivuguruzwa, University of Rwanda-College of Education, Rwanda
Leon Mugabo, University of Rwanda-College of Education, Rwanda

About the Presenter(s)
Mr. Theogene Niyomufasha, a PhD student at the UR CE, is researching the impact of multiple representation in mechanics problem-solving on engineering students' performance. He collaborates with educators and researchers to improve physics education.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00