NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ915671
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0959-4752
Physical versus Virtual Manipulative Experimentation in Physics Learning
Zacharia, Zacharias C.; Olympiou, Georgios
Learning and Instruction, v21 n3 p317-331 Jun 2011
The aim of this study was to investigate whether physical or virtual manipulative experimentation can differentiate physics learning. There were four experimental conditions, namely Physical Manipulative Experimentation (PME), Virtual Manipulative Experimentation (VME), and two sequential combinations of PME and VME, as well as a control condition (i.e., traditional instruction with absence of PME or VME). Undergraduate students' understanding of physics concepts in the domain of heat and temperature was tested in a pre- and posttest design that involved 182 participants assigned to the four experimental groups and 52 participants assigned to the control group. Conceptual tests were administered to assess students' understanding before, during and after instruction. The analyses revealed that the four experimental conditions were equally effective in promoting students' understanding of concepts in the domain of heat and temperature and better than the control condition; hence, manipulation, either physical or virtual manipulation, and not physicality, as such, at least in a context like the one of the present study, is important in physics learning. (Contains 2 figures and 4 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A