First year university students' ideas on the motion of the charged particle in a magnetic field
AuthorKocakülah, Mustafa Sabri
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Recent studies have been carried out to understand students' conceptions of scientific phenomena. This study aims to elicit students' ideas on the motion of a charged particle in a magnetic field and to consider the effectiveness of a university physics course. Changes in 95 university first year students' ideas were traced through pre, post and delayed post instruction questions. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore reasons for the ideas further. The analyses of data showed that many students (93% in the pre and 86% in post tests) gave scientifically unacceptable ideas referring to magnetic, electric and other concepts. Indeed, after instruction most students (62%) tended to focus on ideas about electric field, electric force, charge, current and gravitational force. Even questions in different contexts still indicated the confusion between electric and magnetic forces on the moving particle and invoked new inappropriate ideas related to magnetic fields and forces.