Digital video, learning styles, and student understanding of kinematics graphs
Teresa Lee Hein, Kansas State University, United States
Kansas State University . Awarded
Student ability to analyze and interpret motion graphs following laboratory instruction that utilized interactive digital video as well as traditional instructional techniques was investigated. Research presented suggested that digital video tools serve to motivate students and may be an effective mechanism to enhance student understanding of motion concepts.
Two laboratory exercises involving motion concepts were developed for this study. Students were divided into two instructional groups. The treatment group used digital video techniques and the control group used traditional techniques to perform the laboratory exercises. Student understanding of motion concepts were assessed, in part, using the Test of Understanding Graphs-Kinematics. Other assessment measures included student responses to a set of written graphical analysis questions and two post-lab activities.
Possible relationships between individual learning style preferences and student understanding of motion concepts were also addressed. Learning style preferences were assessed using the Productivity Environmental Preference Survey prior to the instructional treatments. Students were asked to comment in writing about their learning styles before and after they were given the learning style assessment. Student comments revealed that the results they received from Productivity Environmental Preference Survey accurately reflected their learning styles.
Results presented in this study showed that no significant relationship exists between students' learning style preferences and their ability to interpret motion graphs as measured by scores on the Test of Understanding Graphs-Kinematics. In addition, the results showed no significant difference between instructional treatment and mean scores on the Test of Understanding Graphs-Kinematics.
Analysis of writing activities revealed that students in the treatment group responded more effectively than students in the control group to graphical interpretation questions that closely paralleled the motions they had observed during the laboratory. However, students in both instructional groups displayed similar levels of difficulty when confronted with motions that deviated from what they had observed in the laboratory.
After controlling for differences in student ability levels using SAT scores and course grades, a significant difference in mean scores on the Test of Understanding Graphs-Kinematics was observed between males and females. Males and females as a separate population had similar mean SAT scores and course grades. A suggestion was made that the observed difference between males and females based on mean scores on the Test of Understanding Graphs-Kinematics could be due to a gender bias inherent in the instrument. A recommendation was made that future studies could address this observed gender difference.
Hein, T.L. Digital video, learning styles, and student understanding of kinematics graphs. Ph.D. thesis, Kansas State University.
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