Students' information processing in agricultural systems technology laboratories: Utilizing external representation while solving word problems

Michael L. Pate, Don M. Johnson, Bruce E. Miller, F. Richard Beard, Jennifer Long

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine students' utilization of sketching to externally represent their solution strategy. Participants were students enrolled in an introduction agricultural systems technology course in 2015 and 2016. Students were asked to determine the amount of force required to lift a given load using a pulley system. Students were randomly assigned to two groups to solve the problem. Students in the treatment group were given specific directions to sketch the pulley system described in the problem scenario. Students assigned to the control group were not given specific directions to sketch the system. A total of 56 students completed the problem set. There was no statistically significant difference on problem scores between the students who were asked to sketch and the student who were not asked to sketch (t (54) = 0.78, p =.428). There were three students that answered the three questions correctly. Students' sketches were scored for correctness based on the pulley problem description. The average sketch score was 8.5 out of 12 (SD = 2.24). Qualitative analysis of students' sketches indicate difficulty in concrete external representation of the pulley system description. Implications for instruction include implementing reading comprehension strategies as well as examining word problem structure for text readability. Recommendations for practice include dedicated instructional time to provide students with practice in sketching representations of problem structures. Future research will investigate the use of digital photos of problem systems compared to requiring student sketches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Event2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting - Spokane, United States
Duration: Jul 16 2017Jul 19 2017

Other

Other2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting
CountryUnited States
CitySpokane
Period7/16/177/19/17

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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    Pate, M. L., Johnson, D. M., Miller, B. E., Beard, F. R., & Long, J. (2017). Students' information processing in agricultural systems technology laboratories: Utilizing external representation while solving word problems. Paper presented at 2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Spokane, United States. https://doi.org/10.13031/aim.201700052