Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research

Developed by: Curtis Hieggelke, David Maloney, Stephen Kanim, Thomas O'Kuma

Level

middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school   other

calc based

alg based

conceptual

Topics
Setting

What? Short activities that help students apply concepts and address known difficulties. Activities are designed so that they cannot be solved using "plug-and-chug."

### Activity outline

Ten TIPER formats (more detailed descriptions):

Bar Chart Tasks — these require student to draw histograms for specified quantities of a situation.

Changing Representation Tasks — given one representation, e.g., a free-body diagram, students generate an alternative representation, e.g., the Newton’s second law equation.

Comparison Tasks — these ask the student to determine which of two situations has a greater value for a quantity, or if the two situations have the same value for quantity.

Conflicting Contentions Tasks — these tasks present two or three (usually natural language) statements about a situation and the goal is to decide which, if any, of the statements is correct.

Ranking Tasks — ask students to rank a set of physical situations based on the magnitude of a single characteristic.

Troubleshooting Tasks — these require the identification of the acknowledged error(s) in a contention, representation or analysis.

What, if Anything, is Wrong Tasks — these are similar to troubleshooting tasks except that there may not be anything wrong.

Working Backwards Tasks — these usually have one or more equations as the starting point with the goal being a description or drawing of a physical situation.

### Student skills developed

Designed for:
• Conceptual understanding

• Low

### Resources required

• Cost for students

Intro Article: D. Maloney, C. Hieggelke, and S. Kanim, nTIPERs: Tasks to Help Students “Unpack” Aspects of Newtonian Mechanics, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2010, Portland, Oregon, 2010.
External Resources

For suggestions about how to develop your own TIPERs, see Maloney, "Developing Conceptual Exercises", Winter 1994/ 95 CaFD Newsletter.

TIPERs are published in a series of books by Pearson (you can download the instructor's guide from the resources tab in each of the links below):

RESEARCH VALIDATION
Research-based
This is the lowest level of research validation, corresponding to at least one of the validation categories below.

### Research Validation Summary

#### Based on Research Into:

• theories of how students learn
• student ideas about specific topics

#### Demonstrated to Improve:

• conceptual understanding
• problem-solving skills
• lab skills
• beliefs and attitudes
• attendance
• retention of students
• success of underrepresented groups
• performance in subsequent classes

#### Studied using:

• cycle of research and redevelopment
• student interviews
• classroom observations
• analysis of written work
• research at multiple institutions
• research by multiple groups
• peer-reviewed publication