Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings;PERC 2017
American Association of Physics Teachers
As a novel approach to the longstanding issue of how to help all students eﬀectively learn and utilize math in physics, we integrated the free online mathematics learning system Khan Academy (KA) into introductory physics for pre-service teachers. Two focus group interviews (N=11) were conducted: one group had shown signiﬁcant improvement on a math diagnostic test and the other had not. Thematic analysis revealed that the way KA was integrated into the course fostered internalization of the motivation for using KA; students displayed variability in depth of cognitive engagement in response to the feedback mechanism in KA; and KA helped students get into a ‘mathematical mindset,’ which enabled some students to forge deeper connections between math and physics. We also suggest fruitful avenues for further research on this longstanding issue in PER.