Title

An Investigation of Virtual Learning

Presenter Information

Kegan Powers

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

Learning is becoming a more and more virtual experience as teachers are beginning to come from a new generation, a generation raised on technology. The main question of my study is: Do students benefit more from virtual simulation-based experiments or from doing experiments hand on? Virtual simulation often provides more information than can be acquired in hands-on experiments. In order to test this question a pre and posttest about the relevant physics concepts were given to a class of 40 general physics students. The students were put into 3-person groups and the groups were randomly assigned to either the virtual or the hands-on lab. The pre and posttest were administered before and after students were to complete their assigned experiment. The assessments and activities covered material relevant to the unit being covered in the class. This process was repeated twice during the quarter with the two units covered being projectile motion, and forces in a plane. During the projectile motion lab students were to observe and predict the properties of projectile motion. While in the forces in a plane experiment the students were asked to solve and demonstrate the effects of frictional forces. In the end the virtual learners seemed to have the greatest increase in comprehension, increasing their assessment scores by an average of 12 percent while hands on students average only an increase of 4 percent.

Poster Number

6

Faculty Mentor(s)

Bruce Palmquist

Additional Mentoring Department

Physics

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May 17th, 11:15 AM May 17th, 1:44 PM

An Investigation of Virtual Learning

SURC Ballroom A

Learning is becoming a more and more virtual experience as teachers are beginning to come from a new generation, a generation raised on technology. The main question of my study is: Do students benefit more from virtual simulation-based experiments or from doing experiments hand on? Virtual simulation often provides more information than can be acquired in hands-on experiments. In order to test this question a pre and posttest about the relevant physics concepts were given to a class of 40 general physics students. The students were put into 3-person groups and the groups were randomly assigned to either the virtual or the hands-on lab. The pre and posttest were administered before and after students were to complete their assigned experiment. The assessments and activities covered material relevant to the unit being covered in the class. This process was repeated twice during the quarter with the two units covered being projectile motion, and forces in a plane. During the projectile motion lab students were to observe and predict the properties of projectile motion. While in the forces in a plane experiment the students were asked to solve and demonstrate the effects of frictional forces. In the end the virtual learners seemed to have the greatest increase in comprehension, increasing their assessment scores by an average of 12 percent while hands on students average only an increase of 4 percent.