The effect of the instructional sequence of a computer simulation and a traditional laboratory on middle-grade students' conceptual understanding of an electrochemistry topic
Ebraheem Alkazemi, University of Florida, United States
University of Florida . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a computer simulation in terms of increased student conceptual understanding based on the instructional sequence, that is, as to when is the most appropriate time for a simulation to be presented to improve student understanding of a science concept. Many science educators feel that computer simulation offers tremendous potential for the enhancement of the teaching and learning of science concepts. Despite the advocacy of so many educators, research conducted over the past three decades on the effectiveness of instructional simulations has yielded mixed and less than encouraging results. In this study Science teachers and students in science middle school classes used a computer simulation and traditional teaching and learning methodologies to study the physical science topic electrochemistry. Group A students received the simulation (treatment 1) prior to the traditional laboratory experience (treatment 2), while Group B subjects received the computer simulation after traditional laboratory experiment. The study incorporated an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Although the results of this study did not statistically support the theory that prior use of a simulation before the traditional laboratory can improve learning, the treatment group completed the simulation activities before the actual hands-on lab performed slightly better on the achievement post-test than the other group.
Alkazemi, E. The effect of the instructional sequence of a computer simulation and a traditional laboratory on middle-grade students' conceptual understanding of an electrochemistry topic. Ph.D. thesis, University of Florida.
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