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The efficacy of World Wide Web-mediated microcomputer-based laboratory activities in the high school physics classroom
DISSERTATION

, North Carolina State University, United States

North Carolina State University . Awarded

Abstract

This research project examined the efficacy of an online microcomputer-based laboratory based (MBL) physics unit. One hundred and fifty physics students from five high schools in North Carolina were divided into online and classroom groups. The classroom group completed the MBL unit in small groups with assistance from their teachers. The online groups completed the MBL unit in small groups using a website designed for this project for guidance. Pre- and post-unit content specific tests and surveys were given. Statistical analysis of the content tests showed significant development of conceptual understanding by the online group over the course of the unit. There was not a significant difference between the classroom and online group with relation to the amount of conceptual understanding developed. Correlations with post-test achievement showed that pre-test scores and math background were the most significant correlates with success. Computer related variables, such as computer comfort and online access, were only mildly correlated with the online group. Students' views about the nature of physics were not well developed prior to the unit and did not significantly change over the course of the unit. Examination of the students' physics conceptions after instruction revealed common alternative conceptions such as confusing position and velocity variables and incorrect interpretations of graphical features such as slope.

Citation

Slykhuis, D.A. The efficacy of World Wide Web-mediated microcomputer-based laboratory activities in the high school physics classroom. Ph.D. thesis, North Carolina State University. Retrieved May 19, 2019 from .

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