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Student-generated representations in Algodoo while solving a physics problem
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Studentgenererade representationer i Algodoo vid lösningen av en fysikuppgift (Swedish)
Abstract [sv]

Fysiklärare möter ofta den svåra uppgiften att representera abstrakta, väldefinierade egenskaper hos den fysiska världen (så som krafter eller energier) för studenter som går bortom ekvationer, grafer eller diagram. I denna studie tittar jag två fall av universitetsstudenter som löser en fysikalisk uppgift, användandes det digitala programmet Algodoo på en stor pekskärm för att undersöka hur studenter naturligt använder sig av sådan teknologi för att återskapa dessa representationer själva. Jag finner att när studenter skapar scener i Algodoo prioriterar de att behålla en viss mått av likhet från den fysiska världen, vilket går bortom den formella behandlingen av uppgifter som studenter kan ha fått lära sig i fysikundervisningen. Vidare, när studenterna använder sig av fysikaliska ekvationer vid lösandet av problemet, verkar de använda Algodoo som ett facit för att se huruvida deras numeriska lösning, uträknad på en klassisk whiteboard, stämmer. På detta sätt - vilket har föreslagits i tidigare forskning - ser jag hur Algodoo, och liknande digitala lärmiljöer, fungerar som en bro mellan studenternas konceptuella förståelse av den fysiska världen, och den mer formella, matematikbaserade beskrivningen vilket används inomfysiken.

Abstract [en]

Physics teachers are often faced with the difficult task of representing abstract, formally-defined properties of the physical world (such as forces or energy) for students in a way which goes beyond equations, graphs, and diagrams. In this study, I investigate two cases of university students solving a physics problem while using the digital software, Algodoo, on a large touch screen to examine how students might naturally leverage such technology to create such representations of their own. I find that as student draw scenes in Algodoo, they tend to prioritze a degree of resemblance to the physical world which goes beyond the formal treatment of problems they might have been taught in physics classes. Additionally, as the students recruit physics equation into their solution of the problem, they appear to use Algodoo as a conceptual check for the numerical answer they calculate on the normal whiteboard. In this way - and as has been hypothesized in previous research - I see the potential for Algodoo and similar digital learning environments to act as a bridge between students’ conceptual intuitions of the physical world and the more formal, mathematically-based descriptions used in physics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 46
Series
FYSAST ; FYSPROJ1101
Keywords [en]
Algodoo, Large Touch Screen, Monkey-Hunter Problem
Keywords [sv]
Algodoo, Stor Pekskärm, Apan och Jägarproblemet
National Category
Other Physics Topics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-355197OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-355197DiVA, id: diva2:1227868
Subject / course
Didaktik
Educational program
Upper Secondary School Teacher Education Programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-28 Created: 2018-06-27 Last updated: 2018-06-28Bibliographically approved

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