The Efficacy of World Wide Web-Mediated Microcomputer-Based Laboratory Activities in the High School Physics Classroom

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Title: The Efficacy of World Wide Web-Mediated Microcomputer-Based Laboratory Activities in the High School Physics Classroom
Author: Slykhuis, David Alan
Advisors: Dr. David Haase, Committee Member
Dr. Gail Jones, Committee Member
Dr. John C. Park, Committee Chair
Dr. Glenda Carter, Committee Member
Abstract: This research project examined the efficacy of an online microcomputer-based laboratory based (MBL) physics unit. One hundred and fifty physics students from five high schools in North Carolina were divided into an online and classroom group. The classroom group completed the MBL units in small groups with assistance from their teachers. The online groups completed the MBL units in small groups using a website designed for this project for guidance. Pre- and post-unit content tests and surveys were given. Statistical analysis of the content tests showed significant development of conceptual understanding by the online group over the course of the unit. There was not a significant difference between the classroom and online group with relation to the amount of conceptual understanding developed. Correlations with post-test achievement showed that pre-test scores and math background were the most significant correlates with success. Computer related variables were only mildly correlated with the online group. The students' views about the nature of physics, as collected by the surveys, were not well developed before the unit and did not significantly change over the course of the short unit. Examination of the students' conceptions after instruction revealed common alternative conceptions such as confusing position and velocity variables and incorrect interpretations of graphical features such as slope.
Date: 2004-04-15
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Science Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5313


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