Graph Predictions for Position, Velocity and Acceleration
This activity has benefited from input through a review and suggestion process.
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process as a part of an activity development workshop. Workshop participants were provided with a set of criteria against which they evaluated each others' activities. For information about the criteria used for this review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/compadre/devactivities/reviewcriteria.html.
This page first made public: Jan 7, 2011
This material was originally developed through comPADRE
as part of its collaboration with the SERC Pedagogic Service.
- Learn to make and interpret position, velocity and acceleration graphs.
- Begin understanding the relationship between them.
- Be prepared for maximum benefit from guided discovery lab or Interactive Lecture demonstration on the topic.
Context for Use
Time required: 5-10 minutes in class,
System requirements: Students need to be able to submit JiTT questions over the web via a learning management system (LMS) that supports SCORM packages, WebAssign, or a locally managed system for collecting JiTT responses.
Description and Teaching Materials
- Position graphs while moving at a constant velocity
- Velocity graphs while moving at a constant velocity
- Velocity graphs while changing velocity at a constant rate
- Acceleration graphs while changing velocity at a constant rate
- PAD Motion1D PC Poll Position
- PAD Motion1D PC Poll Constant Velocity
- PAD Motion1D PC Poll Changing Velocity
- PAD Motion1D PC Poll Acceleration
After students have submitted responses, get a list of the textual responses/feedback from your system.
- HTML JiTT page: Collect the values of the (hidden) form elements named "ans_n_feedback"??? where n is an integer (unless you modified input names).
- WebAssign: Go to the score page for that assignment and select "Download" and then check the box "Responses." You will get a spread sheet with usernames, assignment scores, and assignment responses. For each of the graphs on the assignment, there will be three columns: one with a '1' or a '0', one which is a string of numbers separated by commas and semicolons, and one that contains short text statements. Copy the last one for each question.
- LMS: Different systems allow access to student data through different pages, so you will have to figure out how yours is configured. Internally the values are stored with a key "cmi.interactions.n.student_response" which may be useful in finding them. Caution: some systems allow see responses only student by student, so collecting the entire set of class responses can be a time-consuming task.
Once you have downloaded the set of student responses for one question, paste those values into the first column on the data sheet of the Excel template provided, replacing the data with "AAA," etc. Go to the chart sheet and refresh data (red exclamation mark), and copy the graph to whatever document you will use in the beginning of class, and repeat for each question. (If copying to MS Word, use "Paste Special"??? to paste a picture instead of an Excel Chart object). Also select relatively articulate open-ended explanations that represent the different popular choices on each of the questions.
At the beginning of the class or laboratory, show students the chart and briefly discuss with students, trying to get then to think about the reasoning behind all the main choices, so that when they do the activity, they will realize what the graph the see means.
Excel template for creating graphs from student responses (Excel 11kB Jul16 07)
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources
Examples of discovery laboratories to use following this activity can be found in the first two laboratories of: Sokoloff, D.R., R.K. Thorton, and P.W. Laws, RealTime Physics: Active Learning Laboratories Vol. 1. 1999, New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Interactive Lecture Demonstrations on this topic can be found in Sokoloff, D.R. and R.K. Thorton, Interactive Lecture Demonstrations, Active Learning in Introductory Physics. 2006, New York: John Wiley & Sons.