The ability to solve physics problems in symbolic and numeric representations
Keywords:symbolic representation, numeric representation, Physics problem solving, linear motion kinematics
The aim of this study is to analyze the ability of students to solve the problems of linear motion kinematics expressed in symbolic and numeric representation. Research was survey with cross-sectional design. Research subjects included 26 first year undergraduate students in physics at one of the State Universities in Malang which was consisted of 10 men and 16 women. The research instrument was open-ended test of linear motion kinematics problems expressed in symbolic and numeric representations with a reability of 0,807 The research data were analyzed using descriptive and non-parametric inferential statistics. The results showed that the ability of students to solve linear motion kinematics problems in both symbolic and numeric representation was medium. Students had difficulty solving physical problems in both symbolic and numeric representations. It was also found that the problems of linear motion kinematics in symbolic representations were more difficult for students to solve than numeric representations. The study suggested further research to explore the causes of student difficulties more authentically, e.g. by interviewing or thinking aloud.
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