The Development and Implementation of Interactive Virtual Laboratories Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/z316q364w

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  • The Interactive Virtual Laboratories (IVLs) are a series of two-dimensional simulations designed to help students conceptually learn difficult concepts in thermodynamics. Three studies were performed to help elucidate how the IVLs affect student learning. In the first study, eight students were observed while completing one of the IVLs. The students were examined to see how they approached guided questions and used the molecular simulations to make sense of the abstract thermodynamics concepts. The IVLs did not force students to use a conceptual approach; however, students who did not use a conceptual approach were unable to fully answer the conceptual questions. In the second study, an IVL was implemented in a junior-level thermodynamics classroom of over 100 students. Student responses and feedback were examined. Of the students who responded, 58% were able to clearly show they understood the main conceptual question. In the third study, student perceptions on performance in the engineering classroom were examined. Almost 70% of students involved in the study said that they felt rote learning was in some way rewarded in engineering, possibly explaining why some students chose to use rote learning exclusively while completing the IVL.
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