ERIC Number: EJ1132242
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Complex Phenomena Understanding in Electricity through Dynamically Linked Concrete and Abstract Representations
Taramopoulos, A.; Psillos, D.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v33 n2 p151-163 Apr 2017
The present study investigates the impact of utilizing virtual laboratory environments combining dynamically linked concrete and abstract representations in investigative activities on the ability of students to comprehend simple and complex phenomena in the field of electric circuits. Forty-two 16- to 17-year-old high school students participated in a guided-inquiry-based teaching intervention utilizing a virtual laboratory environment and were assigned to three conditions: functional dynamically linked concrete and abstract representations of objects (CA approach), functional concrete representations of objects alone (C approach) and functional abstract representations of objects alone (A approach). All conditions used the same instructor, instructional method and materials. A pretest-post-test scheme was used to assess the students' conceptual evolution. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance of the results indicates that after instruction all groups show a similar significant improvement in comprehending simple phenomena in electric circuits. However, for complex phenomena, the CA approach significantly outperforms the other two. It seems, therefore, that in the field of electric circuits, investigative activities utilizing virtual laboratory environments with dynamically linked concrete and abstract representations of objects may foster enhanced understanding of phenomena with a high degree of complexity for high school students.
Descriptors: Energy, Computer Simulation, High School Students, Computer Assisted Instruction, Teaching Methods, Inquiry, Pretests Posttests, Multivariate Analysis, Science Instruction, Electronics, Scientific Concepts, Outcomes of Education, Instructional Materials, Science Laboratories
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A