Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Final Thoughts on Photoelectricity - Section 3: Photoelectric Formative Assessment


I want to compare one student's computational work with his conceptual work. In the image below one can see that, for part c, he has an energy answer that is in the 10^-39 range, which is off by a factor of roughly 10^20. This is not an unusual mistake for him; it's common for him to get tangled up in the computational aspects of Physics. He'll be the first to admit that algebra trips him up frequently. 

In the video clip below, however, this student (on screen left) makes some insightful comments, is remarkably assertive while pressing for evidence in the face of a claim, and is generous of spirit as he agreed with the other student while presenting his final assessment of a non-trivial logical problem.

There is a lot to admire in the clip, although none of it is computational. This is a good reminder for me to create opportunities that allow different students to show what they know in a variety of ways.

  Reflecting on Student Thinking
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Reflecting on Student Thinking
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Final Thoughts on Photoelectricity

Unit 4: Electromagnetics
Lesson 17 of 17

Objective: Students will continue to consider the mathematics of the photoelectric effect, including the impact of the threshold frequency on the kinetic energy versus frequency relationship.

Big Idea: A mathematical model may need to become more sophisticated as our understanding of a phenomenon becomes fuller. The photoelectric effect is complex and our mathematical model will need to be adjusted to reflect its complexity.

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