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On Homework Section - Physics part

  1. Sep 27, 2007 #1
    Often, I come across mechanics problems where it is immensly difficult to understand (for student) on how the problem is solved without a FREE BODY DIAGRAM. I cannot stress enough about how important it is to draw a free body diagram to a certain extent, even if the student has absolutely no clue wtf is going on.

    Can we put an additional requirement, on such type of problems where people are required to sketch and submit a free body diagram if its applicable?
     
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  3. Sep 27, 2007 #2

    Chi Meson

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    It would be wonderful to have a simple draw program embedded in the page. Heck, all the resources that are given to emoticons, surely there can be simple boxes and arrows and wedges...
     
  4. Sep 27, 2007 #3

    Kurdt

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    If they did that then 9 out of 10 times they probably wouldn't have anything to ask as it would be apparent.
     
  5. Sep 27, 2007 #4

    Astronuc

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    Perhaps the homework template should strongly recommend drawing a free-body or vector diagram when applicable.
     
  6. Sep 27, 2007 #5

    Chi Meson

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    Is there a convenient draw program on some site somewhere, that can be linked, kinda like a photobucket img link?
     
  7. Sep 27, 2007 #6

    Astronuc

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    DaveC426913 did a nice graphics job in Hoots' thread
    Introduction / Summary of Differentiation
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=1292664&postcount=24

    I guess any drawing program that can save images as jpeg's, gif or bmp (or whatever format image sites permit) could be used.

    I used to use Corel draw, but now I use MS Word for a quick and simple image or Photoshop Elements.
     
  8. Sep 27, 2007 #7

    Moonbear

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    I don't think so (no idea if it's possible...I don't think it's as easy as adding arrows and lines to the smiley list though, because you'd have to be able to align them), but everyone who has a computer probably has some sort of program that can be used to draw simple line drawings like that. Just save it as a low resolution, small file, like a jpeg or bitmap, and upload as an attachment. Heck, for that matter, just sketch it out on paper and scan it and upload it in whatever format you're comfortable with.

    I agree that with most mechanics type problems, if students just drew the free body diagram, we could diagnose a lot of their difficulties very quickly, because that will show what part they missed (and if they don't know how to draw a fbd, that in and of itself is the problem).

    From what I've seen done, it looks like those who know how to use LaTex could draw them using that, but I don't even know how to use that right, so wouldn't expect students just starting out to know how to use that so well...the more advanced students have more familiarity with it.
     
  9. Sep 27, 2007 #8
    Well at any rate, as Astronuc suggested, can we at least have the homework template recommend to include a FBD?
     
  10. Sep 27, 2007 #9

    robphy

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  11. Sep 27, 2007 #10

    robphy

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