Applying Ideas of Visual Cognition to Problem Solving in Physics
N. Sanjay Rebello, Purdue University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Problem solving is a major emphasis area of physics education that has been studied extensively over the past several decades. Frequently, physics problems – and their solutions – have strong visuospatial components. However, most research on physics problem solving has not drawn from research in visual cognition. Over the past four years a collaboration of physics education researchers and visual cognitive psychologists has been exploring and exploiting the link between cognition and eye movements manipulated by cueing and feedback to facilitate physics problem solving. We combine theoretical perspectives on problem solving, such as representational change theory with theoretical perspectives on visual cognition, such as multimedia learning theory; as well as empirical research on visual cueing and feedback to develop and refine a conceptual model for physics problem solving. In this talk I will describe the collaborative work of our group and possible implications for online learning in physics.