Ngu, B. H & Yeung, AS. (2013). Algebra word problem solving approaches in a chemistry context: Equation worked examples versus text editing. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior,32(2), 197-208. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmathb.2013.02.003
Text editing directs students’ attention to the problem structure as they classify whether the texts of word problems contain sufficient, missing or irrelevant information for working out a solution. Equation worked examples emphasize the formation of a coherent problem structure to generate a solution. Its focus is on the construction of three equation steps each of which comprises essential units of relevant information. In an experiment, students were randomly assigned to either text editing or equation worked examples condition in a regular classroom setting to learn how to solve algebra word problems in a chemistry context. The equation worked examples group outperformed the text editing group for molarity problems, which were more difficult than dilution problems. Empirical evidence supports the theoretical rationale in using equation worked examples to facilitate students’ construction of a coherent problem structure so as to develop problem skills and expertise to solve molarity problems.
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