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Teaching and learning geometrical optics with computer assisted instruction: changing conceptions about vision, image and ray
Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science.
2007 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The information and communication technology, ICT, is opening new possibilities for the educational arena. Previous research shows that achieving positive educational outcomes requires more than simply providing access to computer hardware and software. How does this new technology affect the teaching and learning of physics? This thesis focuses on the field of geometrical optics. It reports two studies, both in Swedish upper secondary school. Important for the use of the ICT in physics education is the teaching strategy for using the new technology. The first study investigates with a questionnaire, how 37 teachers in a region of Sweden use computers in physics education and what intentions they follow while doing so. The results of this study show that teachers’ intentions for using ICT in their physics teaching were to increase students' interest for physics, to increase their motivation, to achieve variation in teaching, and to improve visualization and explanation of the phenomena of physics. The second study investigates students’ conceptual change in geometrical optics during a teaching sequence with computer-assisted instruction. For this purpose we choose the computer software "Constructing Physics Understanding (CPU)", which was developed with a base in research on students conceptions in optics. The thesis presents the teaching sequence developed together with the teacher. The study is based on a constructivist view of learning. The concepts analysed in this study were vision, image, ray and image formation. A first result of this study is a category system for conceptions around these concepts, found among the students. With these categories we found that students even at this level, of upper secondary school, have constructed well-known alternative conceptions before teaching, e.g. about a holistic conception of image. The results show also some learning progress: some alternative conceptions vanish, in some cases the physics conceptions are more often constructed after teaching. The students and the teacher also report that the CPU program gave new and useful opportunities to model multiple rays and to model vision.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2007. , 71 p.
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2007:6
Keyword [en]
design teaching-learning sequence, conceptions, optics, computer-assisted instruction
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-720ISBN: 978-91-7063-108-5OAI: diva2:6416

På det tryckta exemplaret samt på den elektroniska utgåvan av rapporten, är den felaktiga publikationstypen "Licentiate thesis" angiven.

Available from: 2007-03-09 Created: 2007-03-09 Last updated: 2013-06-12

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