Assessing the use of a computer simulation in introductory college physics classroom environments
Christopher James Keller, University of Colorado at Boulder, United States
University of Colorado at Boulder . Awarded
This thesis documents the utility of and attitudes towards CCK compared to real circuit equipment in various introductory college physics classroom environments. While CCK has been shown to be more helpful at improving conceptual understanding of DC circuits and hands-on skills with real circuit equipment of students in a traditional laboratory in an algebra-based course, we seen no observable differences when these tools were coupled with Tutorials in Introductory Physics in an interactive recitation in a calculus-based course. Additionally, we seek to characterize the utility of CCK's explicit visual representation for current flow to determine if this representation is productive at helping students with their understanding of current flow. In both algebra- and calculus-based courses, we see no difference in conceptual understanding between students who used either a version of CCK with or without its explicit visual representation of current flow. However, students who used CCK without the explicit representation had more positive attitudes towards using the simulation compared to those who used CCK with the explicit representation. Despite this difference, students who used either version of CCK had a more favorable experience with the simulation than real circuit equipment. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Keller, C.J. Assessing the use of a computer simulation in introductory college physics classroom environments. Master's thesis, University of Colorado at Boulder.
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