Effects of Multiple representations and Problem- solving learning strategies on Physics students’ problem-solving abilities
Keywords:Multiple representations, problem-solving, representational abilities, problem-solving abilities
Student’s learning in physics takes many forms. Equations, diagrams, graphs and words all can be used to describe physical phenomena. Constructing descriptions of physical situations with these representations and focusing on their correct usage led to this study which investigated physics students’ knowledge of multiple representations and problem-solving abilities using multiple representations learning strategy and problem-solving learning strategy as an intervention. The pretest-posttest, control group quasi-experimental design with a 3x2x3 factorial matrix was used. A total of 294 Senior Secondary School-two (SSII) Physics students selected from six purposively sampled co-educational schools in Education Districts V of Lagos State formed the sample. Test of Knowledge of Multiple Representations Abilities in Projectiles and Equilibrium of forces (TKMRA-PE), Multiple Representations Abilities Assessment Instrument (MRAI) and Problem-Solving Assessment Instrument (PSAI). The reliability coefficient of the TKMRA-PE, MRAI, and PSAI were 0.83, 0.75 and 0.70 respectively. Data gathered were subjected to statistical techniques of Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) at 0.05 level of significant. Findings from the results showed significant effect of multiple representations learning strategies on problem-solving abilities; F (2, 291) = 4.440; p< 0.05, Ƞ2 =0.030. The descriptive statistics revealed the magnitude of problem-solving abilities across the groups. Students exposed to multiple representations learning strategy had the highest problem-solving abilities (x= 3.83), than their counterparts in problem-solving learning strategy( x = 29.4), and those conventional strategy group had the least problem-solving abilities(x =22.3). The finding showed that irrespective of gender and ability level, multiple representations and problem-solving strategies facilitate learning and should be recommended for teaching and learning of physics in senior secondary schools in Nigeria.
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