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concept maps, conceptual change, constructivism, engagement, simulations

Marcellus, Kenneth

Supervisor and department: Nocente, Norma Secondary Education

Examining committee member and department: Barker, Susan Secondary Education Pegg, Jerine Elementary Education

Department: Department of Secondary Education


Date accepted: 2011-09-26T16:33:21Z

Graduation date: 2011-11

Degree: Master of Education

Degree level: Master's

Abstract: This research was designed to determine what conceptual changes occur when students use computer simulations, and whether simulations with characteristics defined as engaging by Adams et al. 2008a; 2008b, Granlund, Berglund, and Eriksson 2000, Kali and Linn 2008, Kim, Yoon, Whang, Tversky, and Morrison 2007, Lowe 2004, Malone 1981, and Wishart 1990, seem to promote conceptual change. Six grade-ten students worked with three projectile-motion simulations in various orders. Students drew pre- and post-treatment concept maps, their interactions with the simulations were videotaped, and they were interviewed. The results show that the students did experience conceptual change, but the changes were mostly within existing cognitive frameworks with few higher-order connections made. As well, the simulation that engaged the students the most promoted the least conceptual change, and vice versa. These findings support recommendations made in earlier literature that raise awareness of simulation features that tend to distract students from learning goals.

Language: English

DOI: doi:10.7939-R3QW23

Rights: License granted by Kenneth Marcellus on 2011-09-23T17:42:42Z GMT: Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.

Author: Marcellus, Kenneth



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