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Abstract Title: Effects of a Prior Virtual Experience on Students’ Interpretations of Real Data
Abstract: Our previous work has shown that experimentation with virtual manipulatives supports students' conceptual learning about simple machines differently than experimentation with physical manipulatives [1].  This difference could be due to the "messiness" of physical data from factors such as dissipative effects and measurement uncertainty. In this study, we ask whether the sequence of experimentation with physical and virtual manipulatives affects how students interpret the data from the physical experiment. Students enrolled in a conceptual-based physics laboratory performed both physical and virtual experiments to learn about pulleys and inclined planes.  Approximately half of the students performed the physical experiments before the virtual experiments, and the other half completed the virtual experiments first.  We find that using virtual manipulatives before physical manipulatives promotes an interpretation of the physical data that is more productive for conceptual learning.  

This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences Award R305A080507.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jacquelyn J. Chini
Department of Physics, Kansas State University
116 Cardwell Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
Phone: 785-532-7167
and Co-Presenter(s)
Adrian Carmichael, Department of Physics, Kansas State University
Elizabeth Gire, Department of Physics, Kansas State University
N. Sanjay Rebello, Department of Physics, Kansas State University
Sadhana Puntambekar, Dept. of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison