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PERC 2015 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Teaching and assessing scientific inquiry strategies using PhET simulations
Abstract: In this study, we used PhET simulations to teach 100 8th-grade students to use one of two inquiry strategies for discovering relations between variables.  Half of the students were taught to use a deductive approach, the Control of Variables Strategy (CVS), while the other half were taught a more inductive approach we call the General Principle Strategy (GPS).  After eight class sessions, students completed a strategy transfer task, as well as a simulation-based assessment using the Balance Act PhET.  We found that students who used their previously-learned  strategy on the transfer task were more likely to discover the multivariate relation of torque, as measured by performance on the Balance Act.  This research highlights the potential of PhET simulations not only as tools for inquiry instruction, but also as assessments of the inquiry process.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Parallel Session: Student learning with PhET simulations: Beyond conceptual gains in classroom settings

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Luke Conlin
Stanford University