Real vs virtual physics experiments: comparison of learning outcomes among fifth grade primary school students. A case on the concept of frictional force
Published on Feb 11, 2019in International Journal of Science Education 1.32
· DOI :10.1080/09500693.2018.1549760
ABSTRACTThis paper compares students’ conceptual understanding of a standard physics law, i.e. frictional force, following the execution of real vs virtual experiments. The research sample was made up of 110 fifth grade students attending a primary school in the city of Ioannina, Northwestern Greece who were randomly assigned to either the control group (55 students) or the experimental group (55 students). The control group carried out experiments with real world objects, while the experimental group used Interactive Physics simulation software. Data was collected by administering to both groups identical pre and post tests, before and after the experiments respectively and which contained six questions each. The SOLO taxonomy model was used to evaluate student answers and the findings reveal that both experimentation methods are equally effective in the conceptual understanding of frictional force.