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Experiencing Variation and Discerning Relevant Aspects Through Playful Inquiry in Algodoo
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Educational simulations in physics tend to be designed to help students learn selected concepts and thus are typically limited in their potential for open-ended and creative exploration. We are interested in the educational potential of a simulation environment, Algodoo, which does not address any one specific physics phenomenon, but rather provides a creative platform for users to design their own simulations using basic building blocks (e.g. massless springs, rigid bodies). In this study, we investigate the ways in which the Algodoo software supports the learning of physics concepts when it is used as an open environment for students’ inquiry through a case study of a pair of students using Algodoo for the first time. Our study suggests that Algodoo promotes learning in two main ways. First, not unlike more traditional educational simulations, it makes purposeful variation of relevant physics parameters possible and allows the user to experience variation in multiple ways. Second, in contrast to traditional educational simulations (and more like ‘messy’ real experiments), it requires the user to discern the relevant parameters to be varied.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Other Physics Topics Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-328806OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-328806DiVA: diva2:1137705
Conference
European Science Education Research Association (ESERA)
Available from: 2017-08-31 Created: 2017-08-31 Last updated: 2017-08-31

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Citation style
  • apa
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