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“Real” Experiments or Simulated Experiments in Labs – Opposites or Synergies?: Experiences from a Course in Electric Circuit Theory
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. (Ingenjörsvetenskapens didaktik)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7708-069X
2017 (English)In: Proceedings från 6:e UTVECKLINGSKONFERENSEN för Sveriges ingenjörsutbildningar / [ed] Lena Peterson, Kristina Edström, Oskar Gedda,Fredrik Georgsson, Liselott Lycke och Marie Arehag, 2017Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

——“Are simulations or ‘real’ labs better for students’ learning?” is frequently discussed. Often positions in this debate are phrased in either or terms. In this study we report from a re-design of a lab where computer simulations were included together with experiments on real circuits in a transient response lab in an electric circuit theory course. In the first version of the lab students had difficulties doing the mathematical modeling of the experimentally measured graphs as it required students’ to link the time- and frequency domains as well as the object/event and theory/model worlds simultaneously. The inclusion of computer simulations as an addition to real experiments in the re-designed lab opened up for learning and enabled students to establish links that were impossible to access directly with real experiments. Still doing real experiments is important to secure students ability to make links between models and theories and the physical reality. This study demonstrates that synergetic learning effects can be achieved by a careful design using an insightful combination of real experiments and computer simulations.  Hence, we propose that the question of “real” experiments or “virtual” labs using computer simulations are being best for students’ learning is not an either or question. Rather, it is a question of finding the right blend of carefully designed learning activities to achieve synergetic effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Experiential learning, interaction analysis, modeling, simulations, technology enhanced learning
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-153471ISBN: 978-91-88041-11-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-153471DiVA, id: diva2:1272316
Conference
6:e Utvecklingskonferensen för Sveriges ingenjörsutbildningar
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 721-2011-5570Available from: 2018-12-18 Created: 2018-12-18 Last updated: 2018-12-18

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf