ERIC Number: EJ1112962
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Interactive Computer Simulation and Animation for Improving Student Learning of Particle Kinetics
Fang, N.; Guo, Y.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v32 n5 p443-455 Sep 2016
Computer simulation and animation (CSA) has been receiving growing attention and wide application in engineering education in recent years. A new interactive CSA module was developed in the present study to improve student learning of particle kinetics in an undergraduate engineering dynamics course. The unique feature of this CSA module is that it integrates computer visualization with mathematical modeling, so students can directly connect engineering dynamics phenomena to underlying mathematics. A quasi-experimental pretest-post-test research design including a comparison group (n = 65) and an intervention group (n = 77) was implemented to assess to what extent the developed CSA module improved student learning. The results show that this new CSA module increased students' class-average conceptual and procedural learning gains by 29% and 37% respectively. The difference in learning gains between the two groups is statistically significant (Z = -4.526, p = 0.000) based on a nonparametric statistical Mann-Whitney U test. It is found that the improvement of students' conceptual understanding and the improvement of their procedural skills are asymmetrical in this CSA learning environment. The CSA module can serve as an excellent tool to supplement traditional lectures, but cannot fully replace human teachers or tutors in teaching.
Descriptors: Computer Simulation, Animation, Academic Achievement, Kinetics, Engineering Education, Undergraduate Students, Quasiexperimental Design, Pretests Posttests, Comparative Analysis, Intervention, Nonparametric Statistics, Statistical Analysis, Undergraduate Study, Thinking Skills
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1122654