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|Title: ||The effectiveness of interactive computers simulations on learning circular motion|
|Authors: ||Chien, Cheng-Chih|
|Issue Date: ||2009-12-15 13:37:25 (UTC+8)|
|Abstract: ||In the past thirty years, the effectiveness of computer assisted learning was found varied by individual studies. Today, with drastic technical improvement, lower price, and multi-purpose functions available, computers have been widely spread in schools and used in a variety of ways. In this study, a design model involving educational technology, pedagogy, and content domain is proposed for effective use of computers in learning.
In the general Chain Model, a pedagogy is selected based on the content domain needs for achieving the expected learning outcome. An educational technology is used to both facilitate the use of selected pedagogy and provide the content needs with special features which may not be available from other media. That is, the selection of educational technology is based on the needs of pedagogy and content. All three elements must link with and support each other to effectively help students in learning.
In this study, computer simulation, constructivist and Vygotskian perspectives, and circular motion were the three elements of the specific Chain Model. Students usually have their own ideas about the world before taking science courses. The goal of the physics course is to help students remove the ideas which are not consistent with the physics community and rebuild new knowledge. To achieve the learning goal, the strategies of using conceptual conflicts suggested by constructivists and using language to internalize specific tasks into mental functions suggested by Vygotsky were included. Computer simulations and accompanying worksheets were used to help students explore their own ideas and to generate questions for discussions. Using animated images to describe the dynamic processes involved in the circular motion may reduce the complexity and possible miscommunications resulting from verbal explanations.
The effectiveness of the instructional material, based on the design model, on student learning is evaluated. The results of problem solving activities show that students using computer simulations had significantly higher scores than students not using computer simulations. The conceptual understanding was tested by qualitative problems given at the beginning and the end of the course. The score gains of the students who used computer simulations were not significantly higher than the score gains of the students who did not use the computer simulations. The gender differences on circular motion concept understanding of the group in which did not use computer simulations increased from no difference on the pretest to a significant difference on the posttest. Gender differences for the group that used computer simulations did not change. In this study, the prior physics experience and the frequency of computer use outside the physics course do not relate to either problem solving ability or conceptual understanding of circular motion.
There were fewer female students than male students and fewer students using computer simulations than students not using computer simulations. These characteristics affect the statistical power for detecting differences. For the future research, more intervention of simulations may be introduced to explore the potential of computer simulation in helping students learning. A test for conceptual understanding with more problems and appropriate difficulty level may be needed.
|Relation: ||National association for research in science teaching|
|Appears in Collections:||[教育科技學系暨研究所] 會議論文|
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