ERIC Number: EJ1068889
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
Effects of Abstract and Concrete Simulation Elements on Science Learning
Jaakkola, T.; Veermans, K.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v31 n4 p300-313 Aug 2015
Contemporary evidence on the effectiveness of concrete and abstract representations in science education is based solely on studies conducted in college context. There it has been found that learning with abstract representations produces predominantly better outcomes than learning with concrete representations and combining the representations can be even more productive. In the present study, 52 elementary school students used a computer simulation to discover the basic principles of electric circuits. The perceptual concreteness of simulation elements either remained concrete "or" switched from concrete to abstract during the learning. In order to compare the relative effectiveness of the learning conditions and assess the changes in students' conceptual understanding, the students completed a subject knowledge assessment questionnaire before and after learning with the simulation. According to the results, the students gained a better understanding of the circuits by learning with constantly concrete simulation elements than switching from concrete to abstract elements during the learning. Constantly concrete elements also enhanced the learning process by reducing the learning times. The outcomes of the study suggest that the effects of concrete and abstract representations in science education are notably different in elementary school context as compared with college contexts.
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Elementary School Science, Science Instruction, Computer Simulation, Computer Uses in Education, Electronic Equipment, Instructional Effectiveness, Visual Aids, Pretests Posttests, Questionnaires, Knowledge Level, Foreign Countries, Grade 5, Grade 6
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Grade 6
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland