The purpose of the research was to determine whether PhET simulation labs or hands-on labs were more effective in helping students learn physics concepts. This measure was done by comparing quiz scores using recall, calculation, and transfer questions. Additionally, student perceptions of learning from both hands-on and simulation lab experiences were measured. Six labs were conducted with high school physics students on the topics of momentum, energy, circuits, angular momentum, pendulums, and friction. It was found that PhET simulation labs were as effective at creating student understanding, and sometimes more effective, as measured by quizzes given after the labs. Additionally, the survey data revealed that students were more engaged by hands-on lab experiences, and viewed the hands-on labs to be more effective than the simulation labs.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Rytting, Matthew Charles, "Comparison of Simulation and Hands-On Labs in Helping High School Students Learn Physics Concepts" (2016). All Theses and Dissertations. 6132.
physics, simulation lab, hands-on lab