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Response Times to Conceptual Questions

Nathaniel Lasry, Jessica Watkins, Eric Mazur and Ahmed Ibrahim

Am. J. Phys., 81, 703-706 (2013).  export citation

DOI: 10.1119/1.4812583

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We measured the time taken by students to respond to individual Force Concept Inventory (FCI) questions. We examine response time differences between correct and incorrect answers, both before and after instruction. We also determine the relation between response time and expressed confidence. Our data reveal three results of interest. First, response times are longer for incorrect answers than for correct ones, indicating that distractors are not automatic choices. Second, response times increase after instruction for both correct and incorrect answers, supporting the notion that instruction changes students' approach to conceptual questions. Third, response times are inversely related to students' expressed confidence; the lower their confidence, the longer it takes to respond.

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posted: Jun 19, 2008

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