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Representational learning with interactive simulations

Speaker: Antje Kohnle (St Andrews)
Date: Wednesday 3 October 2018
Time: 15:00
Venue: Queens Buildings N/3.28

Analyzing, constructing, and translating between graphical, pictorial, and mathematical representations of physics ideas and reasoning flexibly through them (representational competence) is a key characteristic of expertise. It is challenging for learners to develop, but little instruction is explicitly designed with this purpose in mind. This talk will focus on the role of interactive computer simulations with appropriate scaffolding in supporting representational learning. We have been developing combined simulation-tutorials for the learning of quantum mechanics, whereby students first work on problems independently, constructing representations they will later see in the simulation, followed by further problems with simulation support. This talk will describe the structure and sequencing of the simulation-tutorials and present results from pre-, mid- and post-tests to assess student learning.