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Muhammad Imran Shaik Kadir, & Koh, C. K. (2014). Investigating the impact of simulations on students’ conceptual understanding of kinematics graphs. In Y. -J. Lee, N. T -L. Lim, K. S. Tan, H. E. Chu, P. Y. Lim, Y. H. Lim, & I. Tan (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Science Education Conference 2014 (pp. 1592-1608). Singapore: National Institute of Education.
In the study of kinematics, students' concepts of displacement, velocity and acceleration are not well differentiated and they often have difficulties in plotting and interpreting motion graphs. This study investigates the impact of simulations on students' conceptual understanding of motion graphs. This study was guided by the research questions of whether there was any significant difference in the conceptual understanding of motion graphs between students who underwent simulation-based lessons versus those who did not and how students perceived the use of simulations in the learning of Physics. A quasi-experimental research design was chosen. The experimental class (N = 24), underwent simulation-based lessons for 2.5 weeks. The results of the post-test MCQ t-test analysis revealed that the experimental class did not perform significantly better than the control class. However, results from the structured questions t-test analysis, on the other hand, showed that the experimental class performed significantly better than the control class. Taken together, we can perceive that students who used simulations performed just as well, and at times, significantly better than students who did not use simulations. The findings of the focus group discussion suggested that the students had positive experiences in using simulations in the Physics lessons. Students perceived the use of simulations allowed them to "discover things for yourself' and enabled them to achieve a "deeper understanding" of concepts. It is hoped that this study will add to the body of knowledge on the role of simulation-based learning on Physics students' learning outcomes in a Singapore secondary school.
This paper was presented at the International Science Education Conference 2014 held in Singapore from 25 – 27 Nov 2014
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