Identifier

etd-07112014-103220

Degree

Master of Natural Sciences (MNS)

Department

Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The use of technology in classrooms has become an increasing trend throughout all levels of education. Often times, teachers are left to figure out how to incorporate the many different types of available technologies into their lessons. This study examines the use of one specific type of technology in the classroom: computer simulations, specifically the impact of virtual lab simulations on student understanding of mechanics concepts. In this study, the experimental group and the control group received identical instruction in the form of lectures, practice problems, homework, and tests. The difference between the two groups was the use of virtual lab activities in the experimental group, while the control group completed paper-and-pencil based worksheets. The analysis of normalized gains on the Force Concept Inventory and chapter tests shows no statistically significant difference arose from using virtual labs instead of worksheets. However, based on teacher observations, the simulations appeared to increase student effort and engagement.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Slezak, Cyrill

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