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Challenging models of elastic collisions with a computer simulation

Whitelock, Denise; Taylor, Josie; O'Shea, Tim; Scanlon, Eileen; Clark, Paul and O'Malley, Clare (1993). Challenging models of elastic collisions with a computer simulation. Computers and Education, 20(1) pp. 1–9.

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A number of techniques were used to elicit 16–17 yr old physics students' understanding of collisions. The students appear to use two different models of reasoning, namely a linear causal and a resistance/reciprocal causal model. These models however break down when the students are confronted with a computer simulation, if conservation of energy is not understood. The computer simulation allows pupils time to run experiments which they think will confirm their faulty models but which facilitate a shared understanding of energy conservation.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0360-1315
Academic Unit/Department: Institute of Educational Technology
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Item ID: 16500
Depositing User: Denise Whitelock
Date Deposited: 28 May 2009 09:24
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2010 20:30
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