Cognitive Complexity in Physics Problems

Raluca Teodorescu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I will present a Taxonomy of Introductory Physics Problems (TIPP) that classifies the problems according to the cognitive processes and the knowledge that are involved in them. For teaching purposes, TIPP can be used for designing learning objectives, classroom materials and assessments that target cognitive development. For research purposes, it can be used for indentifying patterns of problem-solving behaviors and for creating models of student thinking during problem solving. I will discuss the taxonomy design and validation. Additionally, I will present how TIPP has been used to reform an algebra-based physics course focused on problem solving. The reform improved students' problem-solving skills and their attitudes.
Last modified: Mon Jan 31 14:04:33 2011