Evidence suggests that even instructional approaches that produce conceptual gains may leave students reliant and expecting to be reliant on guidance from instructors (Redish et al., 1998). Students do not expect to be able to address situations they have not encountered before or to judge for themselves when an answer makes sense. Instead, students' principal method for assessing their understanding is to check that their answers to exercises align with the published solutions. (National Research Council. 2013. Adapting to a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities in Undergraduate Physics Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/18312.)
My questions are:
- Is there any method to avoid the issue highlighted in bold? One approach might be to teach students to check whether their answers make sense (if it is to derive an equation, then check special cases.). But this begs the question of how to teach this technique systematically. Any suggestions?
- Would you recommend further reading on this topic? I understand I am coming from a Physics education standpoint, but I believe it is equally applicable to Mathematics as well.
Some might be tempted to just not give answers at all, like in many textbooks (especially Math), but this assumes students have already mastered the aforementioned technique.