Student interpretations of the terms in first-order ordinary differential equations in modelling contexts

Rowland, David R. and Jovanoski, Zlatko (2004) Student interpretations of the terms in first-order ordinary differential equations in modelling contexts. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 35 4: 503-516. doi:10.1080/00207390410001686607

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Author Rowland, David R.
Jovanoski, Zlatko
Title Student interpretations of the terms in first-order ordinary differential equations in modelling contexts
Journal name International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0020-739X
1464-5211
Publication date 2004
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/00207390410001686607
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 35
Issue 4
Start page 503
End page 516
Total pages 14
Editor M. C. Harrison
Place of publication Chichester, U. K.
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Subject C1
1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Formatted abstract
A study of first-year undergraduate students' interpretational difficulties with first-order ordinary differential equations (ODEs) in modelling contexts was conducted using a diagnostic quiz, exam questions and follow-up interviews. These investigations indicate that when thinking about such ODEs, many students muddle thinking about the function that gives the quantity to be determined and the equation for the quantity's rate of change, and at least some seem unaware of the need for unit consistency in the terms of an ODE. It appears that shifting from amount-type thinking to rates-of-change-type thinking is difficult for many students. Suggestions for pedagogical change based on our results are made.
© 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
2005 Higher Education Research Data Collection
 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 05:20:33 EST