Determining Student Difficulties in Solving Problems Related to Force and Motion Units via Hint Cards

Toksoy S., Akdeniz A. R.

EGITIM VE BILIM-EDUCATION AND SCIENCE, vol.40, no.180, pp.343-362, 2015 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 180
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.15390/eb.2015.3817
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.343-362
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


In order to improve students' physics problem solving skills, the points which students have difficulty in during the problem solving process must be identified. In this study, It is aimed to determine the points in which students have difficulty in by using clinic interview method with the help of hint cards. 17 different problems related to 10th class "Force and Motion" unit have been designated and 9-11 different hint cards which have the same titles for each problem have been prepared. 17 problems have been solved by 21 students studying at 2 different schools in Trabzon. Firstly, all students have been asked to solve the given problems by thinking out loud, then, students who were able to solve the problem have been asked to tell the process in details and clearly; the students who have failed to solve the problems were asked to retry solving the same problem by using hint cards. Students have come up with the correct solution for some problems without using hint cards, while for some other problems; they have needed to use the hint cards. Whereas these students, despite using hint cards, could not come up with the correct solution to some problems. It was clearly seen that students have used the hint cards which include formulas and steps of solution mostly. It was determined that there ought to be a hint card about unit conversions and the "sample solution" hint should be expressed more clearly. It was retained that some students have had superficial problem solving approach and they have difficulty in making plan, an important step in problem solving; some students have little awareness about their own problem solving process and that proposing hints can help to solve the problem only to a certain extent. Teachers have been suggested to teach the simplest steps of the problems in a clear way, to give students enough time to solve the problems by themselves, to help students find their own wrong steps in the solution process. Accordingly, researchers have been suggested to determine the difficulties that students who are at different levels have while problem solving on different topics.