Effectiveness of an inquiry-based learning using interactive simulations for enhancing students’ conceptual understanding in physics

Fan, Xinxin (2015). Effectiveness of an inquiry-based learning using interactive simulations for enhancing students’ conceptual understanding in physics PhD Thesis, School of Education, The University of Queensland. doi:10.14264/uql.2015.1005

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Author Fan, Xinxin
Thesis Title Effectiveness of an inquiry-based learning using interactive simulations for enhancing students’ conceptual understanding in physics
School, Centre or Institute School of Education
Institution The University of Queensland
DOI 10.14264/uql.2015.1005
Publication date 2015-11-06
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Tony Wright
David Geelan
Total pages 217
Total colour pages 2
Total black and white pages 215
Language eng
Subjects 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
130299 Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified
Formatted abstract
Two mixed-methods studies (a pilot study and a main study) were carried out to investigate the effectiveness of a novel inquiry-based learning method (named the Inquiry-based learning with Interactive Simulation - ILIS approach). The studies focused on 10th grade students’ conceptual understandings about force and motion in physics. In each of the studies, an explanatory mixed methods design was adapted to combine a quantitative phase with a qualitative phase. The initial quantitative phase employed a quasi-experimental method. Participants were randomly assigned to the ILIS approach (experimental group) and conventional instruction (control group) as learning methods. All participants were asked to respond to a test (modified Force Concept Inventory) and surveys (confidence in learning and inquiry process skills of hypothesising, operation, communication, and evaluation). The quantitative phase addresses the first research question: What is the effectiveness of the ILIS approach and conventional instruction respectively on student conceptual learning? The subsequent qualitative phase of each study involving interviewing participants to explore the way in which the students and teachers understood the conceptual learning in relation to potential performance achieved with the ILIS approach. The results showed significant gains in conceptual understanding about forces and motion and inquiry process skills by the experimental groups in comparison to the control groups. The students’ inquiry process skills showed the same trend as conceptual learning. Confidence in learning also correlated with students’ conceptual understanding. In contrast, the results showed that the conventional instruction has the same positive effect on improving students’ confidence in learning as the ILIS approach. Qualitative findings induced that students in the experimental group reported individual perceptions and viewpoints. The qualitative phase involved interviews with three teachers and six students. It revealed that the ILIS approach offers meaningful benefits for students’ conceptual understanding, which complements the findings from the quantitative phase. The findings suggested that the ILIS approach may have implications as a practical and effective teaching and learning method in enhancing students to develop their conceptual understanding in physics.
Keyword Inquiry-based learning
Conceptual change
Interactive simulation
Physics

Document type: Thesis
Collections: UQ Theses (RHD) - Official
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
 
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Created: Fri, 30 Oct 2015, 03:33:36 EST by Xinxin Fan on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service