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J Sci Educ Technol (2017) 26:151–160

DOI 10.1007/s10956-016-9661-1

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Physlet-Based Materials
in Supporting Conceptual Learning About Electricity
Simon Ülen 1 & Ivan Gerlič 1 & Mitja Slavinec 1 & Robert Repnik 1

Published online: 19 November 2016
# Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Abstract To provide a good understanding of many abstract Keywords Physics’ teaching . Conceptual learning about
concepts in the field of electricity above that of their students electricity . Physlets . Physlet-based materials
is often a major challenge for secondary school teachers.
Many educational researchers promote conceptual learning
as a teaching approach that can help teachers to achieve this
goal. In this paper, we present Physlet-based materials for Introduction
supporting conceptual learning about electricity. To conduct
research into the effectiveness of these materials, we designed Educational theory defines conceptual learning as a method in
two different physics courses: one group of students, the ex- which students master the ability to build networks of con-
perimental group, was taught using Physlet-based materials cepts (Cheng 1999). In recent decades, educational theorists
and the second group of students, the control group, was have identified conceptual learning as an important approach
taught using expository instruction without using Physlets. in education (Treagust and Duit 2003). According to Cheng
After completion of the teaching, we assessed students’ think- (1999), four main processes can be identified during effective
ing skills and analysed the materials with an independent t conceptual learning: observation, modelling, acquisition and
test, multiple regression analyses and one-way analysis of integration.
covariance. The test scores were significantly higher in the Observation identifies expressions that are descriptive of
experimental group than in the control group (p < 0.05). The phenomena. The process of modelling subsumes observation
results of this study confirmed the effectiveness of conceptual and acts to generate new expressions of particular phenomena
learning about electricity with the help of Physlet-based with selected concepts. This component involves two sub-
materials. processes—to modify and to express. Students have to modify
an expression to obtain a new expression and they have to
express a concept in an external representation. The process
of acquisition subsumes modelling and involves the most ba-
sic step of conceptual learning—a mental construction of a
* Simon Ülen
new concept. It includes three sub-processes: (1) to interpret
an expression as a concept, (2) to revise an expression for a
Ivan Gerlič concept or (3) to retrieve a concept of either sort from the network of existing concepts. Finally, integration involves
Mitja Slavinec adding a new concept to the network of existing concepts or modifying the structure of this network. As can be seen, in-
Robert Repnik
volving so many components and processes in conceptual learning is very complex. Consequently, a conceptual learning
environment needs to implement an effective instructional
Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor, strategy with which learners can comprehend new concepts
Koroška cesta 160, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia (Chen et al. 2013). It is a major challenge to construct such

Podolefsky et al. sults with them in our previous research. Authors divide Physlets into three main catego- learning environment using computer simulations helps facil- ries (Christian and Belloni 2004). Many of these studies have focused on interactive learning environments by using Physlet-Based Materials information and communication technology (ICT). physical Churchill (2011) presented a conceptual model as an interac- applets and with JavaScript. Physlets (Christian and Belloni 2004) are small. Illustrations are Physlets itate the learning of abstract concepts (Hsu and Thomas 2002. in the field of conceptual learning about electricity. each Physlet usually includes presented them as an effective tool to support conceptual just one physical phenomenon without data analysis. they found that a passive and Novak 2005b). Papaevripidou et al. we used Physlets. learning materials in supporting conceptual learning about This issue has captured the attention of many researchers electricity. Additionally. tions for the design of such a model for small screens and Developed using basic graphics. Casperson and Linn 2006. in parti- Physlets cular their potential and their limitations for learning. they Dori et al. Cox et al. For example. 2011). 1 Physlet simulating an inclined throw . He proposed recommenda- characteristics. researching different physical phenomena and see the effects In some other studies. 2006. Churchill 2011. 2003. Chen et al. ChanLin 2000. in which we evalu- An example of such a Physlet is presented in Fig. 2014). 2005. they have significant educational value. using intentionally incorrect Physlets. (2) assesses students’ thinking skills before and after participating in different learning environments. (2011) also investigated stu- dents’ understanding of physics concepts in a specific way. specifically. Furthermore. (2006) studied virtual learning environments. Figure 1 is an example of an illustration effective representation. which provide an initial presentation of the problem. Krusberg (2007) noted that Physlets were designed to deepen students’ conceptual under- standing of physics.152 J Sci Educ Technol (2017) 26:151–160 learning environment to induce effective conceptual learning empirical evidence for the effectiveness of Physlet-based in specific domains. small screens and learning uses. Unlike explorations. and (4) evaluates the use of Physlet-based mate- (Koedinger and Anderson 1990. we cover some brief spec- virtual reality (VR) environment supported student recall and ifications about them. In this section. He developed three sets of recommendations for are quite simple. Roussou et al. Bonham et al. authors have revealed that a conceptual in real time. it is easy for a teacher to adapt tive and visual representation designed to depict a concept or a them to specific teaching situations. rials in supporting conceptual learning. Cheng 1999. problems provide students with previous studies in which the authors emphasized their use- fulness. Yen et al. so they learning. Although the ful- (Christian and Belloni 2004. Students can change parameters when such a model: presentation. the motivation for of students’ understanding of knowledge that they have re- researching the positive effect of using Physlets was some ceived. can be used to introduce new physical concepts or analytical 2010. They compared an immersive virtual environment (VE) to non- Physlets have been described in detail in the literature interactive or non-immersive environments. either in the form of homework assignments or in class- have found that a key to successful conceptual learning is room demonstrations. ated the effectiveness of Physlet-based materials in the field of Problems are Physlets that can be used for the examination magnetism (Ülen et al. Christian ceptual change that they expected. (1999) presented exam- ples of Physlets in teaching electrostatics and emphasized that Physlets can be a great help in visualizing abstract concepts in electrostatics. reflection and led to indications of conceptual change. Following this line of study. 2014). In general. Roussou et al. Physlet-based conceptual learning versus expository instruction. (3) presents Fig. Ülen et al. 2011. To design guiding students’ interactions with the applet and providing learning materials. 2. This report (1) presents the structure of Physlet-based learning materials for learning about electricity following the theoretical framework of the theory of conceptual learning. having had positive re- suggestions concerning conceptual and procedural problems. Physlet. They can serve as tutorials. the goal of our research was to Explorations are Physlets which allow students to further construct a learning environment that satisfies this condition explore the physical phenomena. Krusberg 2007) and on the ly interactive VE did not provide the strong evidence of con- World Wide Web (Christian and Novak 2005a. educational researchers tools. Because of their special number of connected concepts.

modelling. The core idea was that students become aware that a particular space surrounds a charged particle and they become curious about it. This part introduces the concept of electric fields. 3 Physlet simulating a charged particle moving through the electric instruction a typical lesson consisted of the following two field and start circling in the magnetic field main components: . for example. in the field of electricity. there is a As seen in Fig. which are described below. The electric field is presented with Belectric lines of force^. Designing of Physlet-Based Materials The theoretical frameworks of designing Physlet-based mate- rials include four processes that effective conceptual learning Experimental The main objective of this study was to examine the effective- ness of Physlet-based materials in supporting conceptual learning. In this research. We compared two different learning approaches (Physlet-based conceptual learning versus expository instruction) by teaching selected topics in the field of electricity. In the Physlet in Fig. ing with the concept of the electric field of a negative charge. the why it is moving down and not up or why it does not circle in integration takes part in continuation when students are deal- left area and so on. the first sample is presented in Fig. the concept of the electric field of two positive charges. 4. To see the structure of our material. 2 Physlet simulating dependence of electric force between two charges on their separation representation (3). by expository Fig. etc. and altogether 19 Physlet-based students can change the position of the tests’ charged particle and observe the magnitude of the electric force that influences it. why it is starting circling. 3. the fourth process. acquisition and integration. the free web authoring software (http://net2. little guidance or scaffolding.J Sci Educ Technol (2017) 26:151–160 153 should incorporate (Cheng 1999): observing. The key question of our investigation was the following: can Physlet-based materials effectively support conceptual learning and contribute to a better under- standing of physics concepts in the field of electricity? Conceptual Learning Versus Expository Instruction Expository instruction constitutes the traditional framework of physics learning with assumption that the teacher is the Bfoun- tain of all knowledge^ and the knowledge is transferable by an authority (Lee et al. The concept of the electric field of a of this phenomenon. Animation enables visualization with vectors of an electric field that surrounds a charged particle. is not incor- There are various tasks for examining students’ understanding porated in this material. & Mentally constructing a new concept (acquisition) with Fig. 4. It consists of three main parts. 2008). the integration of a charged particle that is starting to circle in the area on the right. Our research group designed four to six materials for each lesson with B<Nvu>^. positive charge is actually the first concept in this network. & Modelling a concept of electric fields with Physlets (2). new concept into a network of existing concepts. & Observing the phenomenon (1).

such as In this experiment. 4 An example of Physlet-based material for introducing the concept of electric field & Verbal explanation the learning material to students. rials. stu- the teacher did this. usually.154 J Sci Educ Technol (2017) 26:151–160 Fig. Each lesson consisted of the following main & Researching the physics phenomenon or law that was pre- components: sented is the main part of the lesson. They were required to work in pairs. this involved showing but students had to work during the lesson on their them an interesting demonstration or experiment. ple. then own. when using conceptual learning. for exam- & Solving tasks from a textbook on the blackboard. usually. before starting the lesson about electric forces. point they did not have an answer. to research asking questions about the phenomenon to which at that the phenomenon with the use of Physlet-based mate. who & Checking the pre-knowledge of students about the select- were more or less passive listeners. ed phenomenon—discussion with the students. dents discussed the electric charge and natural phenomena which are connected with static electricity. students worked in . S/he organized the whole learning process. ple of the particular topic. the teacher had quite a different role than in expository & Motivating students by exposing them to a physical exam- instruction. lightning.

Reasoning analysis requires students to think experimental group (EG) and 40 students from other two clas. given explicit criteria and supporting evidence. At the end of every lesson. each with four alternative statements or answers. Reasoning inference claims edge. & Evaluation involves making judgments about what to be- dents was assured. which were part of involves understanding their overall significance. at this level. students also acquire In this study. aged 17. The most commonly identified fundamental cognitive strategies are analysis. and expository instruction). the depth of lessons. Both pre-test and post-test consisted of 12 multiple choice items. Figure 5 ments and experimental solutions. this also The course consisted of six class lessons. topics in the field of electricity: electric field. The research has covered the following lieve. 6 An example of item at the level of knowledge . understanding was not necessary (see Fig. where all reasoning components are examples of higher-order thinking skills (Phye 1997): The research was carried out in the 4-year high school. in the pre-test and after the lessons in the post-test. Forty elements and understanding the relationship of the parts students from two randomly selected classes constituted the to the whole. where adequate thinking skills (Sadaghiani 2010). regular lesson plan in the academic year. In teaching physics during the course. analysis. equal amount of time for each lesson for each group of stu. This included material such as definition. giving a research sample of 80 participants. In science education. where students Fig. In science education. To see the structure of the test. The understanding is assessed.J Sci Educ Technol (2017) 26:151–160 155 pairs at computers. we assessed thinking skills of students in both material studied. and deductive reasoning. usually with questions on growth of students’ thinking skills was monitored with reason- Physlet-based materials. about new problems and situations that have not been ses the control group (CG). law or process. from four & Analysis involves dividing a whole into its distinctive classes. 5 Diagram of the course Fig. we could eval- & Examining the understanding of the phenomenon or law uate the effectiveness of Physlet-based material as presented in and concepts that students learned about in new problem. comparison and inter- Data Collection pretation of evidence. we often use graphical presentations for analysis of a phe- nomenon. two sample items are presented below. inference and evaluation. rules and proceedings. we often demand from students group was taught through Physlet-based conceptual learning that they be able to make hypotheses and argue their and the control group through expository instruction. Students have to be able to evaluate some ideas. this study. learning environments (Physlet-based conceptual learning sented in Fig. Given the results. 4 above. other reasoning strategies. we also included recall (knowledge). An conclusions. using Physlet-based material as pre. because students’ judgments or decisions are based on analysis. students were required to recall information provided in the sumption. Altogether. The first and the last & Inference involves the use of various forms of inductive lesson were reserved for assessment of the students’ knowl. Evaluation involves presents a diagram of the course. This study was a part of a regular physics course. Experimental Design & Comparison involves identifying similarities and differ- ences of some characteristics of the phenomenon. Lessons 2–5 were four experimental lessons carried out from students that they are able to explain theirs’ conclu- via the two different teaching approaches: the experimental sion. Following this as. ing strategies (Phye 1997). The experiment involved third-year students. Students’ thinking skills were assessed before the based situations. totally presented through the lessons. Subjects inference and evaluation. comparison. comparison. 6). Coulomb’s law. argu- force on the charge in the plane and electric fluid. five thinking skills of stu- dents were assessed: knowledge (recall).

this time limitation was considered presented in Tables 1 and 2. and we decided that 12 is an optimum number. First.0 19 47. An example of an item at the level In the present study. It could be concluded that pre-test and post- tests.8 Evaluation 23 Female 22 55. a thinking skill. difficulty indexes for both tests. and Cronbach’s coefficient of the post-test was found to be In Table 3. the acceptable difficulty in- of Maribor collaborating in designing tests. except within an extra pilot study under specific conditions but as a by evaluation. it is widely ac- from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. It was important to design test items which were able to test had acceptable difficulty indexes and that the reliability of reflect students’ performance in the course related to learning both tests was also confirmed.0 80 100. In addition. were within the acceptable major concern of the project team was the reliability of the range 30–80%.156 J Sci Educ Technol (2017) 26:151–160 Table 2 Difficulty index (p) of post-test Thinking skill p (%) Knowledge 41 Analysis 65 Comparison 84 Inference 31 Evaluation 34 Mean 55 Fig. the pre-test had an excellent dis- under Breal conditions^. consequently. test scores is placed in the 30–80% ranges (Mitra et al. Tests included dex that ensures that the items in the tests can discriminate four items for examining knowledge and two items for each between students with higher test scores and those with lower of the other four thinking skills (analysis. except comparison.5 39 48. we present the number and the structural percent- 0. the mean difficulty index of the school. and the Faculty of Education from the University items above 80%. found that maximum discrimination occurred at a difficulty ment has positive effects on growth of students’ thinking skills index between 40 and 74%. The project Although there are further suggestions for an acceptable team consisted of five experienced educational researchers difficulty index in the educational literature. As seen in Table 2. Difficulty indexes at each thinking skill.5 41 51.0 . resulting in both tests being within the acceptable guide. we calculated the Cronbach’s coefficient (α). 7. we were forced to design tests with the post-test was 55% and that means the post-test also had excel- Slovenian curriculum of physics for secondary school lent discrimination. 2009). inference and evaluation).0 21 52. For this reason.0 40 100. 55% (see Table 1). the experiment was not carried out crimination. were able to reveal differences in students’ learning outcomes resulting from different learning environ- ments.70 and 0. 2009). lines for reliability (between 0. consequently.70. 7 An example of item at the level of analysis have approximately 35–45 min to solve Bordinary^ tests. Next.75. Therefore. were also within an acceptable range (30– part of a regular physics course in a Slovenian secondary 80%). According to Sim and Rasiah (2006).80). difficulty indexes of each (Planinšič et al. who In order to test whether the Physlet-based learning environ. we calcu- lated difficulty index scores for each thinking skill and mean Table 3 The number and the structural percentage of participating students in the experiment Table 1 Difficulty index Thinking skill p (%) Sex Group Total (p) of pre-test Knowledge 68 Experimental group (EG) Control group (CG) Analysis 41 F F (%) F F (%) F F (%) Comparison 80 Inference 63 Male 18 45. and. comparison. 2008) in consideration. We tested the reliability of both tests with two widely accepted instruments—Cronbach’s coefficient (α) (Cronbach Results 1951) and the difficulty index (Mitra et al. Values for these tests are When designing items. cepted that hard items have difficulties less than 30% and easy Maribor. The Cronbach’s co. Analysis of Participating Students efficient (α) reliability of the pre-test was found to be 0. age of participants in the experimental and the control groups.3 Mean 55 Total 40 100. the mean difficulty index of pre-test was of analysis is presented in Fig.

83 0.63 0.662 Control group 6. before the p = 0.958 Analysis EG 0.852 CG 0. experiment.014 0. (F = 0.5% males).140.636 0.25 0.000 1.83 0. the experimental and control groups at a particular thinking in CG 47.000 CG 0.594 Comparison EG 1.739 According to the sex of participating students. Consequently.75 2.58 1.005.295 2. After examining the total post-test scores. and so the use of the standard t that the post-test scores were significantly higher in the test was also justified.670 Evaluation EG 0.450.83 0.905 0.225 0. skill was identified before the experiment.640 0.328) and homogeneity of coefficient the total pre-test scores.000 CG 1. CG—control group) of variances M SD F p t Sig. The results of the The hypothesis regarding the homogeneity of variance was test for the differences of means (the general F test) revealed justified (p = 0. (two tailed) (p) Knowledge (recall) EG 2.502) (in EG 55% females and 45% males.628 0.000). Table 5 The results of the t test of the differences between the two groups for each thinking skill before the experiment Thinking skill Group (EG—experimental Mean Standard deviation Test of homogeneity t test (independent samples) group.632 0.489. p = 0. p = 0.945) were confirmed.221 0.707 0.496 Inference EG 1.000 1.124 0. differences between the experimental and control groups prior The hypotheses regarding the homogeneity of variance to the experiment.45 0. Table 6 lists the statistical verify the different learning outcomes of the experimental and results pertaining to the post-test scores for the experimental control groups.283 CG 2. Table 5 provides post-test scores of students at each thinking skill.60 0.416 0.J Sci Educ Technol (2017) 26:151–160 157 Table 4 Results of the t test of the differences between the two Group Mean Standard deviation Test of homogeneity t test (independent samples) groups before the experiment of variances M SD F p t Sig.05).5% females and 52.599 0.05).080 0. the hypothesis regarding the homo- no statistically significant differences between the students geneity of variance was justified at each thinking skill from the experimental group and those from the control group.198 0.95 1.968.187 0.140 −0. p > 0.597 . Table 7 pro- the statistical results of the pre-test scores. (p > 0. ences between the experimental and control groups. we analysed the total scores.667 0. p = 0. Pre-Test Results Post-Test Results A one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to At first.231 0. The standard t test was used to analyse the and control groups. we analysed the tween the two groups for each thinking skill.107 3.081 −1.439 0.844 CG 1. vides the statistical results of the post-test scores. there were As seen from Table 5. no statistical differences between (χ2 = 0. The results showed no statistical differ- experimental group than in the control group (F = 18. Table 4 provides the statistical results for (F = 0.25 0. (two tailed) (p) Experimental group 6.48 0. Analysis of the Pre-Test Results for Each Thinking Skill Analysis of the Post-Test Results for Each Thinking Skill of Students of Students The standard t test was used to analyse the differences be.

158 J Sci Educ Technol (2017) 26:151–160 Table 6 The results of the one-way analysis of covariance for learning outcomes in the post-test between the students in the two groups Group Mean Standard deviation Test of homogeneity Test of the homogeneity Test of the differences of variances of regression coefficients of means (general F test) M SD F p F p F p Experimental group 6.492 4. consequently.813 0.707 0.639 Inference EG 0.63 0.659 0. the successfulness of conceptual learning. the two main aims of this study were.80 0. based materials in supporting conceptual learning about elec- the means indicated the advantage of the experimental tricity in secondary school physics. Finally.936 0. This result levels of higher-order thinking skills. the general F test revealed statistically significant Discussion differences between the experimental and control groups (p < 0. However.328 0. no statistically significant differences were designing these materials. Furthermore.067 0. to evaluate the success of Physlet- F test on this taxonomic level.439 14.20 1.223 7.640 3.378 2.056 0.716 0.05). we had to find out if the four main cally significant differences between the experimental and processes of conceptual learning (observation.103 CG 1.540 . however.986 0. modelling.005 0. Throughout the process of evaluation. In general. therefore. two categories (illustrations and explorations) support the first Table 7 The results of the one-way analysis of covariance for learning outcomes in the post-test between the students of the two groups in test tasks involving knowledge (recall). We found that advantage of the experimental group.533 0. for evaluating group.05). second.171 0. it can be concluded that was expected because at this level. inference and evaluation Thinking skill Group (EG—experimental Mean Standard deviation Test of homogeneity Test of the Test of the group. at the level of ding of Physlets in these materials.966 3.48 0. for knowledge (recall).020 3.75 0.048 / / CG 1.968 0. the results for the higher-order thinking skills are more interesting.000 Control group 5.53 0. To test the first aim. comparison.945 18. cantly better than the results of the students in the control an understanding was not necessary. as seen in Table 7. analysis.008 CG 1. first.05) in favour of the experimental group.814 As seen in Table 7.050 0. we researched and tested a large observed (p > 0. no statistically In general.492 0.05).554 Evaluation EG 0. The general F test showed that there were statisti. However.335 CG 0.724 0.059 1.829 Comparison EG 1.48 0.957 0. students were required to the results of students in the experimental group were signifi- recall information provided in the material studied.489 0.572 0.716 0. CG—control group) of variances homogeneity differences of regression of means coefficients (general F test) M SD F p F p F p Knowledge (recall) EG 1. to the hypothesis regarding the homogeneity of regression design Physlet-based materials for learning about electricity coefficient was not justified on the level of comparison following the theoretical framework of the theory of concep- (p < 0. control groups at the level of inference (p < 0. given the total test scores and the results at the significant differences were observed (p > 0. also in acquisition and integration) could be incorporated by embed- favour of the experimental group.670 0. group. the means indicated the number of Physlets in the field of electricity.75 0.08 0.68 1. At the level of analysis.492 0.751 Analysis EG 1. we did not perform the general tual learning and.000 0.83 0.036 CG 0.942 0.385 5.55 0.05).

for their thoughtful contributions to this study. acquisition and integration of a new con. 2014). in momentum conservation. Ülen et al. Chen et al. from the World Wide Web: http://webphysics. Phys Teach 57:276–281 Casperson J. Retrieved June 25. Cristian W (1999) Using Physlets to teach elec- ple magnetism.davidson. 466 cess and we encourage secondary school teachers to incorpo. Linn MC (2006) Using visualizations to teach electrostatics. J Chem Educ 80:1084–1092 (Podolefsky et al. effective representation. Second. Cox AJ. In this way. Sung Y-T. procedural skills and epistemological . Junkin WF. Sung YT. explorations. tions of pre-clinical semester 1 multidisciplinary summative tests. International e-Journal of Science. and problems for introductory physics. 2011. observing and Acknowledgement The authors are grateful to the 4-year high school Gimnazija Franca Miklošiča Ljutomer. we can confirm the success of embedding Lee YF. In our Chen YL. This Cronbach LJ (1951) Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. we designed and implemented Chen Y-L. the criteria of a theoretical framework of conceptual learning. Judson JP (2009) The levels of rate Physlets in their physics lessons. edu/Applets/Applets. J Instr Psychol 27:228–238 wider implementation of the materials can follow. Anderson JR (1990) Abstract planning and perceptual Physlet-based materials in this study confirms their the. Mitra NK. Constantinou CP (2005) Combined use of other computer simulations in supporting conceptual development of middle school children’s conceptual understanding learning in secondary school physics.. the teacher should complement a 16(2):212–227 Cheng PC-H (1999) Unlocking conceptual learning in mathematics and chosen Physlet with challenging problem-based items in such science with effective representational systems. We conclude that Mathematics Maribor and the support of the members of the Department Physlets enable us to design learning materials which meet of Basic Pedagogical Studies at the Faculty of Education from the University of Maribor. Cogn Sci 14:511–550 sis that the key for successful conceptual learning is Krusberg ZAC (2007) Emerging technologies in physics education. teachers should decide which of the processes from Education. the four main processes of conceptual learning are preferable 2008 from the World Wide Web: http://webphysics. Bonham SW. Belloni M. Belloni M (2004) Physlet physics.html The second aim of this study was the analysis of the Churchill D (2011) Conceptual model learning objects and design rec- results of two groups of students who participated in the ommendations for small screens. Pan P-R. the use of Koedinger KR. Risley JS. Inc. for exam. electricity. Hadjiagapiou M. Additionally. Interactive illustrations. ment backed by a conceptual change model. Pearson ing. Finally. studies difficulty and discrimination indices in type a multiple choice ques- might be useful to investigate the advantages and disadvan. First. for the achievement of their teaching goals for a particular edu/Applets/about-physlets.davidson. teachers have to be aware of some important for their thoughtful suggestions that contributed to the composition of this factors when designing or using of existing Physlet-based article. Churchill Hsu Y-S. Computer & a way that the items test the understanding of concepts pre. Educ Technol Soc 14(2):269–277 the field of magnetism. Additionally.html topic. Ho HJ (2008) Explore effective use of computer simu- lations for physics education.J Sci Educ Technol (2017) 26:151–160 159 two processes of conceptual learning. Dori YJ. Adir N (2003) A web-based chemistry course as a itive examples of interactive visual representations means to foster freshman learning. Chang K-E (2013) Correcting misconcep- Physlet-based materials in the field of electricity and now tions on electronics: effects of a simulation based learning environ- we report on the effectiveness of these materials. Educ Technol Soc when designing Physlets. edge. ChanLin L (2000) Attributes of animation for learning scientific knowl- When the teacher gains positive feedback from the students. As seen in a sample Physlet (see Fig. bers of the Department of Physics at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and cept into a network of existing concepts. Esquembre F (2011) terials can be an effective tool in supporting conceptual Teaching physics (and some computation) using intentionally incor- rect simulations. the third category (problems) can support the sec- out. Christian W. Upper Saddle River Christian W. The results indicate that Physlet-based ma. of which there are many in physics. Guo Y. Psychometrika 16:297–334 fectiveness of computer-based learning materials as pos. the authors are also very grateful to the reviewers of this article Certainly. it is important to consider the context of the curriculum when planning to incorporate Physlets into the teaching materials. 2006 processes were incorporated in the material presented. 2010. Thomas RA (2002) The impacts of a web-aided instructional simulation on science learning. finding is supported by previous studies about the ef. 4). students can build knowl. trostatics. the first three Christian W Novak G (2005b) Physlets. edge of concepts while minimizing the risk of misunderstand. where this research was carried modelling. chunks: elements of expertise in geometry. Phys Teach 49(5):273 learning about electricity (see Tables 6 and 7). Int J Sci Educ 24:955–979 2011. Our general recommendation is that References these materials are useful in fields that involve learning ab- stract concepts. Third. Chang KE (2011) Efficacy of simulation- study. learning materials. Medicine & Education 3(1):2–7 tages of using Physlet-based materials in comparison to the Papaevripidou M. J Comput Math Sci Teach 27(4):443– Physlet-based materials into the contemporary teaching pro. Novak G (2005a) What is a physlet? Retrieved June 25. Hong YR. Nagaraja HS. thermodynamics and optics. Education 33:109–130 sented in the Physlet. Ponnudurai G. Journal of Science Education & Technology 16(5):401–411 In conclusion. conceptual learning using Physlet-based mate- Am J Phys 74(4):316–323 rials should be implemented into one portion of a course only. In the future. Barak M. Educ Technol Soc 14(1):203–216 experiment. after the achievement of positive learning outcomes in based learning of electronics using visualization and manipulation. Christian W. The authors would also like to acknowledge the support of the mem- ond two processes.

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