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Edu 710 literature review__2 jefferson hartman

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  • 1. Real-Time Microcomputer 1 REAL-TIME MICROCOMPUTER-BASED LABORATORY OR VIDEOGRAPH AND BASIC KINEMATICS CONCEPTS By Jefferson Hartman Touro University College of Education In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For EDU 710 March, 2010
  • 2. 2 Real-Time Microcomputer Abstract The purpose of the paper is to review two articles that analyzed either the effect of real- time microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) or VideoGraph on student understanding of kinematics concepts. Both articles suggested that MBL helps students make the connection between a physical event and its graphic representation. In Beichner (1990), he analyzed data collected from students learning kinematics concepts taught from the traditional stroboscope with students learning the same concepts using a method where graph production was synchronized with motion reanimation (video). Results indicated that there was no advantage to using a VideoGraph over the traditional stroboscope method. In Thornton and Sokoloff (1989), they analyzed data collected from students learning kinematics concepts taught from the traditional lectures with students learning the same concepts using a MBL. Results indicated that there was an advantage to using the MBL over traditional lecture.
  • 3. Real-Time Microcomputer 3 REAL-TIME MICROCOMPUTER-BASED LABORATORY OR VIDEOGRAPH AND BASIC KINEMATICS CONCEPTS A real-time microcomputer-based laboratory is a place where students can use motion probes to detect motion and a computer simultaneously produces a graph. A VideoGraph is a program in which a video of a motion situation is playing while a graph is simultaneously being produced. Do these tools give a student, learning kinematics concepts in a physics classroom, an advantage over the traditional methods like using a stroboscope or lecture? Authors of both articles agree with the idea that MBL has positive educational impact. Beichner (1990) states that immediate student control of a physical event and its graphical representation might be what makes MBL effective and, in the case of kinematics laboratories, kinesthetic feedback could be the most important component of the MBL learning experience. The MBL tools have made possible discovery-based laboratory curricula that embody results from educational research (Thornton and Sokoloff 1989). Methods Both articles have a similar method of research, analyzing data from pre and post tests. In Beichner (1990), he compared test data taken from two groups derived from 257 students from physics classes from three Western New York high schools, one 2-year college and one 4-year college. One group was taught kinematics concepts by using the traditional stroboscope method and the other using VideoGraph. A stroboscope takes a series of pictures of an object in motion a put all them onto single image. In Thornton and Sokoloff (1989), they compared data taken from 1500 students from Tufts University and the University of Oregon. One group was taught kinematics concepts by using the
  • 4. 4 Real-Time Microcomputer traditional lecture method and the other using MBL and lecture. Results In Beichner (1990), based on an ANOVA statistical analysis of pre and posttest scores, there were no statistical differences. As might be expected, the pretest and posttest scores varied substantially by school, but there was no significant difference in the change score between schools (Beichner 1990). In Thornton and Sokoloff (1989), they compared error rates between the pre and posttests. They analyzed specific questions rather than the test as a whole, which made the results difficult to understand. Again, the results show that the students who only listen to lectures show no improvement on these concepts, while the students who worked with MBL curriculum showed considerable improvement (Thornton and Sokoloff 1989). Discussion Beichner’s (1990) attempt to show that computer animation of videotaped images had advantages to traditional kinematics teaching methods was proven incorrect. His use of clear statistical analysis made the reader a believer in his findings. Beichner even offered suggestions about why he did not get the results he expected. The motion event used was a simple, commonly seen projectile trajectory. If a more complex motion event was used there may have been a significant advantage for the students using the VideoGraph. One reason why the VideoGraph did not show the advantages of MBL was that students did not have the ability to make changes to the motion event. The ability to make changes – and then instantly see the effect – is vital to the efficacy of MBL (Beichner 1990). A visual juxtaposition, as opposed to MBL, simply did not allow student to “feel” the event.
  • 5. Real-Time Microcomputer 5 In Thornton and Sokoloff (1989), they seemed to base a lot of conclusions on evidence that was analyzed in a confusing manner. The students who learned kinematics concepts through lecture only had half the exposure than the students who were who were exposed to lecture and MBL. Common sense tells me that that more reinforcement on a concept the more content absorption. Several conclusions were made on the advantages of MBL: 1) students focus on the physical world, 2) immediate feedback is available, 3) collaboration is encouraged, 4) powerful tools reduce unnecessary drudgery, and 5) students understand the specific and familiar before moving to the general and abstract. MBL tools and curriculum have the potential to help students develop a solid conceptual basis for understanding the world around them (Thornton and Sokoloff 1989). References Beichner, Robert J. The Effect of Simultaneous Motion Presentation and Graph
  • 6. 6 Real-Time Microcomputer Generation in a Kinematics Lab. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. v27 n6 pp803-815 (1990). Thornton, Ronald K., and David R. Sokoloff. Learning Motion Concepts Using Real- Time Microcomputer-Based Laboratory Tools. American Journal of Physics. v58 n9 pp858-867 September 1990.