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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

USING MODELING AND SIMULATION FOR A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS CONCEPTS

Abstract

There is always a pressing need to come up with ways for motivating students in algebra (or calculus) based introductory physics classrooms. Students often lack the necessary concepts required at this level for further studies of physics. It is critically important that students have the required skills which would help them in the upper level classes. Here we present a combination of methods to increase student understanding of introductory physics. Ungraded Interactive Video Vignettes (IVVs) helps ensure that students make authentic physics predictions without feeling they are being judged. It provides the instructor with an excellent handle on the progress of the class. Coupled with the above is the use of Easy Java simulations (EJS). Here students create and test their own models and modify existing ones to analyze a certain physics problem. We discuss the use of software and the associated learning curve and its potential rewards. Student feedback and lessons learned would also be considered.

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