Evaluate student presentation of their findings
and how they support them, as well their participation in the discussion.
Have students build a concept map after the
discussion of the exploration activity. A second map will be built after completion of the unit and a
comparison made to determine any changes in student conceptions. Possible concepts to be included in
the map are: restoring force, oscillation, simple harmonic motion,
period, frequency, amplitude, mass, acceleration, position, velocity and
equilibrium. One possible
"expert" map is included below as an example.In concept mapping there is NO one right answer.
If the map is not clear, open the image in a new window.
Horizontal Spring Investigations - Oscillations and Restoring Force
During both labs, evaluate students experimental techniques and use of the
equipment through observation
Following the first lab - lab results and write-up
Evaluate the experimental design proposed for the second lab
Following the second lab - mathematical
analysis of the data, graph if they produce one and their conclusions.
Following the building of the horizontal spring model
As mentioned in the directions, teachers could assess
studentsí scientific investigation skills. This would be done by not
telling them how to collect data but rather assessing whether they
collected enough data points, whether they only changed one variable at a
time and whether their choice of experimental values to test were
reasonable in size and sufficient in range. A student with good experimental skills would investigate
the effect of mass on period by using one spring constant close in value
to their experimental value, test at least 7 different masses, and use
values for the mass which were reasonable (e.g. near the range of masses
they used to determine the spring constant.) Certainly the largest mass they test should only be 1-2 kg.
Then the student would repeat keeping the mass the same and varying the spring constant.
Again they should collect at least 7 data points and spring constants should vary between 1/10 and 10 times
their experimental value.
Evaluate the studentsí written summary of their results. A very nice rubric for
evaluating written responses has been developed by the state
Evaluate the studentsí graphical analysis of their results.
A very nice graph rubric has been developed by the State
Evaluate student conception of the how acceleration, velocity and position vary.
Specifically pay attention to those possible misconceptions
about direction of velocity and acceleration as described in the Preconceptions
section. This would be an excellent place to use Peer Instruction Techniques as
outlined in the Teaching Tips section.
Teachers who plan on having students build
several models may want to have the students keep a log of the common
traits and differences between the models.
Assess the quality of the data and documentation sent to the math students.
Model/Concept Extensions/Final Assessments
Assess each additional lab performed and/or model built or used in similar
fashion to those above. Some models may be pre-built for use
by the students, so the assessment would be limited to the
appropriateness of their manipulation.
Assess the final concept map and self-evaluation. Student concept
maps should show some advancement in their understanding of oscillating
motion and how the different physical systems are similar.
Have students complete a concept test which
specifically is designed to check for understanding and whether student
preconceptions about position, force, velocity and acceleration in oscillatory
motion have changed.