Can an Interactive Learning Path on A Tablet PC Counter Misconceptions on the Formation of Clouds and Wind?
Keywords:Misconceptions , Wind , Clouds , Teaching , Tablet PC , Experiment
It is well-known that misconceptions exist on a range of topics. The origin of these misconceptions can be very different, but some of them can be understood by students struggling with the application of physics concepts in real life situations or in the context of another school subject, e.g. geography. In this paper, different strategies to tackle misconceptions concerning the formation of clouds and wind were studied. In Flanders, this topic is studied in geography at the end of secondary education, but underlying physics principles are taught in the preceding physics courses in the middle of secondary school. Three different strategies to teach the topic in geography were designed and compared: a traditional, teacher centered lecture, a lecture including an experiment showing the process of cloud and wind formation and a lecture in which the students worked through the material themselves by means of an interactive learning path on a tablet pc and in which the experiment was included in a movie. In all lectures, explicit reference was made to the underlying physical concepts. In a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design, the impact of the three formats on the students’ conceptual understanding was studied. Results show that the learning outcomes of students in the tablet pc class are not as good as those in the other two conditions. Teaching method, but also learning material and attitude of students, can explain these differences.