Jeffrey Murray, M.S.
Education: Bachelor of Science in physics (May 2016)
Master of Science in education (curriculum and instruction) from Purdue University
McNair Project: Visual Cueing and Feedback Influencing Undergraduate Students' Reasoning Resources on Conceptual Physics Problems (2013)
Mentor: N. Sanjay Rebello, Ph.D.
Research has demonstrated that attentional cues overlaid on diagrams and animations can help students attend to the pertinent areas of a diagram and to facilitate problem solving. In this study we investigate the influence of visual cues and correctness feedback on students' ability to activate and coordinate the cognitive resources that they currently possess. The participants (N=90) were enrolled in an algebra-based physics course and were individually interviewed. During each interview students solved four problem sets each containing an initial problem, six isomorphic training problems, and a transfer problem. The cued conditions were given visual cues on the training problems, and the feedback conditions were told whether their responses (answer and explanation) were correct or incorrect, but the interviewer did not distinguish whether the source of their incorrectness was because of their explanation, or their answer. We found that the combination of both correctness feedback and visual cueing, were the most effective means to assist participants in not only the activation of the proper reasoning resources to successfully solve the problems, but also in the coordination of those resources.