Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My PhD proposal after inputs from my supervisor to be.

My PhD proposal after inputs from my supervisor to be. :)

Title:
Designing computer simulation to support students’ scientific visualization in Electromagnetism

Research problem: Students often find electromagnetism concepts difficult due to its abstract nature (Demirci, 2004). This is despite the use of computer simulations in physics classrooms to help students visualize concrete phenomenon at the abstract level (Rivers & Vockell, 1987). One possible reason could be the ways in which visual representations are used in many of these computer simulations (Lee, 1999). Science representations can be categorized into three levels: macro, sub-micro and symbolic (Gilbert, 2005). A deeper understanding of science necessitates seeing, imagining and constructing within and connecting these levels of representations (Levy & Wilensky, 2009). In other words, design of simulations should consider these levels of visualizations as foundational principles in simulation design to allow students to make sense of electromagnetism (Gilbert & Boulter, 2000).

Goal:
To design computer simulation that takes into consideration multiple levels of scientific representation to support students’ understanding of electromagnetism

Objectives:
1. To design simulations to support students’ understanding of electromagnetism using the different levels of scientific representation
2. To understand how simulations foster a deeper understanding of electromagnetism.

Research questions:
1. What design of simulation foster a deeper understanding of electromagnetism?
2. To what extent does the designed simulation foster a deeper understanding of electromagnetism?
3. How does the designed simulation foster students’ understanding of electromagnetism?
4. How do the three levels of representations, macroscopic, microscopic and symbolic promote understanding of the curricular model of electromagnetism?


This study will take an iterative approach to explore, design, implement and evaluate the design of computer simulation to foster deeper understanding of electromagnetism.

Reference:
Demirci, N. (2004). University Students'’Conceptual Difficulties About Electricity Amd Magnetism Concept.
Gilbert, J. K. (2005). Visualization in science education: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Gilbert, J. K., & Boulter, C. J. (2000). Developing models in science education: Springer Netherlands.
Lee, J. (1999). Effectiveness of Computer-Based Instructional Simulation: A Meta Analysis. International Journal of Instructional Media, 26(1), 71-72.
Levy, S. T., & Wilensky, U. (2009). Crossing levels and representations: The connected chemistry (CC1) curriculum. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 18(3), 224-242.
Rivers, R. H., & Vockell, E. (1987). Computer simulations to stimulate scientific problem solving. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 24(5), 403-415.