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Abstract Title: Using PhET simulations as pre-lecture assignments to support knowledge consolidation
Abstract: The context for our study is a first-year Physics course. While the course takes place in Canada, all students are international, and this is their first year in an english-speaking institution. Students received a combination of pre-reading assignments and PhET activities to prepare them for learning on the topics of friction and torque. Students worked with the simulations once during the second week of the term and once towards its end. The given activities asked students to explore key concepts in the target domain and reflect on their exploration. Results show that students engaged with the simulations productively, even in a homework setting without instructor support. Furthermore, short interaction with the sim was sufficient to improve students' performance from pre- to post-test. Last, students' attitudes towards exploration remained remarkably stable form the first homework assignment to the second one, a couple of months later.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Parallel Session: Student learning with PhET simulations: Beyond conceptual gains in classroom settings

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Joss Ives
University of British Columbia
and Co-Presenter(s)
Georg Rieger, Nikki Yee, Hillgan Ma, Deborah Butler, and Ido Roll