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Converging Lens Simulation Design and Image Predictions


Physics Education Volume 44, Number 3, ISSN 0031-9120


While computer technology continues to enhance the teaching and learning of all science disciplines, computer simulations, in particular, have become exceptionally beneficial in physics education. In addition to the manner in which physics instructors integrate computer simulations into their instructional practices, the design of a simulation may also determine its potential for influencing a student's conceptual development and understanding. This paper examines the effects of four differently designed simulations on students' predictions and subsequent understanding of how images are formed by converging lenses, specifically in relation to outcomes when portions of the lens or object are covered. Results indicated that differing numbers of rays depicted in the lens simulations had little effect on student predictions, but the origination point(s) of the rays did influence student predictions. Also reported is how minimal instructor scaffolding substantially influenced student use and value perceptions of the simulation. (Contains 1 table and 11 figures.)


Bryan, J.A. & Slough, S.W. (2009). Converging Lens Simulation Design and Image Predictions. Physics Education, 44(3), 264-275. Retrieved January 28, 2020 from .

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