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ERIC Number: EJ836163
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0020-4277
The Learners' Experience of Variation: Following Students' Threads of Learning Physics in Computer Simulation Sessions
Ingerman, Ake; Linder, Cedric; Marshall, Delia
Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, v37 n3 p273-292 May 2009
This article attempts to describe students' process of learning physics using the notion of experiencing variation as the basic mechanism for learning, and thus explores what variation, with respect to a particular object of learning, that students experience in their process of constituting understanding. Theoretically, the analysis relies on analytic tools from the phenomenographic research tradition, and the recent group of studies colloquially known as the variation theory of learning, having the notion of experiencing variation as a key for learning at its core. Empirically, the study relies on video and audio recordings of seven pairs of students interacting in a computer-simulation learning environment featuring Bohr's model of the atom. The data was analysed on a micro-level for the emergence of student-recognised variation, depicted in terms of "threads of learning". This was done by linking variation around aspects of the object of learning present in the situation, and attended to by the students, to new ways of seeing--characterised as an expanding anatomy of awareness, and hence as learning. The students' threads of learning are characterised in terms of two stages of learning progress: (1) discerning variation, and (2) constituting meaning from this experience of variation (experienced as holistically relevant in the students' conceptual domain of physics and the Bohr model). Two groups of threads of learning were identified: one where the variation experienced by students was within an aspect of the object of learning, and one where variation was across several aspects.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A