# Effects of Conceptual Change and Traditional Confirmatory Simulations on Pre-Service Teachers’ Understanding of Direct Current Circuits

- 345 Downloads
- 15 Citations

## Abstract

The objective of this research is to investigate the effects of simulations based on conceptual change conditions (CCS) and traditional confirmatory simulations (TCS) on pre-service elementary school teachers’ understanding of direct current electric circuits. The data was collected from a sample consisting of 89 students; 48 students in the experimental group who were taught simulations based on CCS, and 41 students in control group who followed the TCS. Subjects in both groups used open source software (Qucs) to simulate electric circuits. All students were administered Electric Circuits Concepts Test (DIRECT), Science Process Skills Test, Physics Attitude Scale, and Computer Attitude Scale before the treatment. Pre-test analyses revealed that there is no significant difference between experimental and control groups in terms of understanding of direct current electricity. After completing 3 weeks treatment, all students received the DIRECT again as a post-test. Analysis of covariance was used. Science process skills and attitudes toward computers were taken as covariates. The results showed that the conceptual change based simulations caused significantly better acquisition of conceptual change of direct current electricity concepts than the confirmatory simulation. While science process skills and attitudes towards computer made significant contributions to the variations in achievement, gender differences and interactions between gender and treatment did not. Eleven weeks later, the DIRECT was reapplied to the students in both groups. Eleven weeks delayed post-test results showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group in understanding of direct current electric concepts.

### Keywords

computer simulation conceptual change free open source software direct current electricity misconception### References

- Abbot D. S., Saul J. M., Parker G. W., Beichner R. J., (2000) Can one lab make a difference? American Journal of Physics, Supplement 68(7): S60–S61Google Scholar
- Akcay, H., Durmaz, A., Tuysuz, C., and Feyzioglu, B. (2006). Effects of computer based learning on students’ attitudes and achievements towards analytical chemistry.
*The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology*5(1), Article 6Google Scholar - Andre T., Ding P., (1991). Student misconceptions, declarative knowledge, stimulus conditions, and problem solving in basic electricity. Contemporary Educational Psychology 16: 303–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ates S., (2005). The effectiveness of the learning-cycle method on teaching DC circuits to prospective female and male science teachers. Research in Science & Technological Education 23(2): 213–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Baser, M. (2003).
*Effect of Instruction based on Conceptual Change Activities on Students’ Understanding of Electrostatics Concepts*. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, METU, 2003Google Scholar - Belloni, M. (2005). Physlets and open source physics for quantum mechanics: Visualizing quantum-mechanical revivals.
*Journal of Online Learning and Teaching*1(1)Google Scholar - Berberoglu G., Caligoglu G., (1992) The construction of a Turkish Computer Attitude Scale. Studies in Educational Evaluation 24(2): 841–845Google Scholar
- Bergquist W., Heikkinen H., (1990) Student ideas regarding chemical equilibrium. Journal of Chemical Education 67: 1000–1003Google Scholar
- Burns J. C., Okey J. R., Wise K. C., (1985). Developments of an integrated process skill test: TIPS II. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 22: 169–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Carlsen D., Andre T., (1992). Use of a microcomputer simulation and conceptual change text to overcome student preconceptions about electric circuits. Journal of Computer-based Instruction 19: 105–109Google Scholar
- Cataloglu, E., and Baser, M. (2005). Open Source Software in Teaching Physics: A Case Study on Vector Algebra and Visual Representations. A paper presented at Open Source for Education in Europe, Open University of the Netherlands. November 14–15, 2005, HeerlenGoogle Scholar
- Cepni, S., and Keles, E. (2006). Turkish students’ conceptions about the simple electric circuits.
*International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education*4(2): 269–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Cepni S., Tas E., Kose S., (2006). The effects of computer-assisted material on students’ cognitive levels, misconceptions and attitudes towards science. Computers & Education 46: 192–2005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chang C. Y., (2002) Does computer-assisted instruction + problem solving = improved science outcome? A pioneer study. Journal of Educational Research 95(3): 143–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chin, T. Y., and Wong, A. F.L. (2001). Pupils’ Classroom Environment Perceptions, Attitudes and Achievement in Science at the Upper Primary Level. AAREGoogle Scholar
- Chiu M. H., Lin J. W., (2005). Promoting fourth graders’ conceptual change of their understanding of electric current via multiple analogies. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 42(4): 429–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Clement, J. (1993). Dealing with students’ preconceptions in mechanics. In
*The Proceedings of the Third International Seminar on Misconceptions and Educational Strategies in Science and Mathematics*, Misconceptions Trust, Ithaca, NYGoogle Scholar - Clement J. J., Steinberg M. S., (2002). Step-wise evolution of mental models of electric circuits: A learning-aloud case study. The Journal of the Learning Sciences 11(4): 389–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Clement J., Brown D., Zeitsman A., (1989). Not all preconceptions are misconceptions: Finding “anchoring conceptions” for grounding instruction on students’ intuition. International Journal of Science Education 11(spec. issue): 554–565Google Scholar
- Cohen R., Eylon B., Ganiel U., (1983). Potential difference and current in simple electric circuits: A study of student’s concepts. American Journal of Physics 51(5): 407–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- de Jong T., Martin E., Zamarro J. M., Esquembre F., Swaak J., van Joolingen W. R., (1999). The integration of computer simulation and learning support: An example from the physics domain of collisions. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 36(5): 597–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Dekkers P. J. J. M., Thijs G. D., (1998). Making productive use of students’ initial conceptions in developing the concept of force. Science Education 82(1): 31–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Dreyfus A., Jungwirth E., Eliovitch R., (1990), Applying the “cognitive conflict” strategy for conceptual change – some implications, difficulties, and problems. Science Education 74: 555–569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Driver R., Guesne E., Tiberghien A., (1985). Children’s Ideas in Science. Open University Press, PAGoogle Scholar
- Driver R., Squires A., Rushworth P., Wood-Robinson V., 1994. Making Sense of Secondary Science: Research into Children’s Ideas. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Dupin J. J., Johsua S., (1987). Conceptions of French pupils concerning electric circuits: Structure and evolution. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 24(9): 791–806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Duschl R., Gitomer D., (1991). Epistemological perspectives on conceptual change: Implications for educational practice. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 28: 839–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Dykstra D. I., Boyle C. F., Monarch I. A., (1992) Studying Conceptual change in learning physics. Science Education 76: 615–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Elizabeth L. L., Galloway D., (1996). Conceptual links between cognitive acceleration through science education and motivational style: A critique of Adey and Shayer. International Journal of Science Education 18: 35–49Google Scholar
- Engelhardt P., Beichner R., (2004). Students understanding of direct current resistive electrical forces. American Journal of Physics 72(1): 98–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Engelhardt P. V., Gray K. E., Rebello N. S., (2004). How many students does it take before we see the light? The Physics Teacher 42(4): 216–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Eryilmaz A., (2002). Effects of conceptual assignments and conceptual change discussions on students’ misconceptions and achievement regarding force and motion Journal of Research in Science Teaching 39: 1001–1015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Evans J., (1978). Teaching electricity with batteries and bulbs The Physics Teacher 16(1): 15–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Forinash K., Wisman R., (2005). Building real laboratories on the internet International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning 15(1/2): 56–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fredette N., Lochhead J., (1980). Student conceptions of simple circuits Physics Teacher 18(3): 194–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- González, J. J., and Reitman, L. (2001). Interactive Lab: A system for teaching electronics using an interface to PSpice.
*Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer-Enhanced Learning*3(2), Article 1Google Scholar - Gould, H., Wang, H., Tobochnik, J., and Tung, N. (2006). Using the Open Source Physics Library to teach Statistical and Thermal Physics. A poster presented at 2006 APS March Meeting, March 13–17, 2006; Baltimore, MDGoogle Scholar
- Grayson D. J., (2004). Concept substitution: A teaching strategy for helping students disentangle related physics concepts American Journal of Physics 72(8): 1126–1133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hestenes D., (1987). A modeling theory of physics instruction American Journal of Physics 55(5): 440–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jaakkola, T., and Nurmi, S. (2004). Academic Impact of Learning Objectives: The Case of Electric Circuits. Paper presented as part of the “Learning objects in the classroom: A European perspective” symposium at the British Educational Research Association annual conference, Manchester, 16–18 September, 2004Google Scholar
- Jaakkola, T., Nurmi, S., and Lehtinen, E. (2005). In quest of understanding electricity – Binding simulation and laboratory work together. Paper for AERA (American Educational Research Association) 2005 conference. Montreal, Canada, 11.–15.4.2005Google Scholar
- Joolingen, W. (2004). A Tool for Support of Qualitative Inquiry Modeling. A paper presented at the 4th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, Augustus 30 – September 1, 2004. Joensuu, FinlandGoogle Scholar
- Kitsantas A., Baylor A. L., Hu H., (2001). The constructivist planning self-reflective tool: Improving constructivist instructional planning. Educational Technology 41(6): 39–43Google Scholar
- Kuphaldt, T. R. (2003).
*Lessons in Electric Circuits*, Volume 1. Retrieved June, 2, 2003, from http://www.ibiblio.org/kuphaldt/electricCircuits/Google Scholar - Lederman N., (1992). Students’ and teachers’ conceptions of the nature of science: A review of the research. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 29: 331–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lee Y., Law N., (2001). Explorations in promoting conceptual change in electrical concepts via ontological category shift. International Journal of Science Education 23(2): 111–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lee K. M., Nicoll G., Brooks D. W., (2004). A comparison of inquiry and worked example web-based instruction using physlets. Journal of Science and Technology 13(1): 81–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Liégeois L., Mullet E., (2002). High school students’ understanding of resistance in simple series electric circuits. International Journal of Science Education 24(6): 551–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Liégeois L., Chasseigne G., Papin S., Mullet E., (2003). Improving high school students’ understanding of potential difference in simple electric circuits. International Journal of Science Education 25(9): 1129–1145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Linn M. C., (1992). Science education reform: Building the research base. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 29: 821–840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Loyd B. H., Gressard C., (1984) Reliability and factoral validity of computer attitude scales. Educational and Psychological Measurement 44: 501–505Google Scholar
- McDermoot L. C., et al. (1996).
*Physics by Inquiry*, Volume II, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar - Millar R., King T., (1993). Students’ understanding of voltage in simple series electric circuits. International Journal of Science Education 15(3): 339–349Google Scholar
- Mzoughi T., Foley J. T., Herring S. D., Morris M, Wyser B., (2005). WebTOP: Web-based interactive 3D optics and waves’ simulations. Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning 15(1/2): 79–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Olde C. V., (2004). Student-generated assignments about electrical circuits in a computer simulation. International Journal of Science Education 26(7): 859–873CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Osborne R., (1983) Towards modifying children’s ideas about electric current. Research in Science and Technology Education 1(1): 73–82Google Scholar
- Periago M. C., Bohigas X., (2005). A study of second-year engineering students’ alternative conceptions about electric potential, current intensity and Ohm’s law. European Journal of Engineering Education 30(1): 71–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Piaget J., (1972). The Principles of Genetic Epistemology. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Planinic, M., Krsnik, R., Pecina, P., and Susac, A. (2005). Overview and Comparison of Basic Teaching Techniques that Promote Conceptual Change in Students. A paper presented at the First European Physics Education Conference, Bad Honnef, July 4–7, 2005, GermanyGoogle Scholar
- Posner G. J., Strike K. A., Hewson P. W., Gertzog W. A., (1982). Accommodation of a scientific conception: Toward a theory of conceptual change. Science Education 66: 211–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ronen M., Eliahu M., (2000). Simulation – A bridge between theory and reality: The case of electric circuits. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 16: 14–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rosenthal A. S., Henderson C., (2006). Teaching about circuits at the introductory level: An emphasis on potential difference. American Journal of Physics 74(4): 324–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sanchez, A. L. C. (2005). Doing Physics with Free/Open-Source Software. Paper presented at 7th National Physics Conference and Workshop, Mindano State University, October 27–29, 2005Google Scholar
- Sanger M. J., Greenbowe T. J., (2000). Addressing student misconceptions concerning electron flow in electrolyte solutions with instruction including computer animations and conceptual change strategies. International Journal of Science Education 22: 521–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Savinainen A., Scott P., Viiri J., (2004). Using a bridging representation and social interactions to foster conceptual change: Designing and evaluating an instructional sequence for Newton’s third law. Science Education 89(2): 175–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sencar S., Eryilmaz A., (2004). Factors mediating the effect of gender on ninth-grade Turkish students’ misconceptions concerning electric circuits. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 41(6): 603–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sethi R. J., (2005) Using virtual laboratories and online instruction to enhance physics education. Journal of Physics Teacher Education Online 2(3): 22–26Google Scholar
- Shipstone D. M., (1984). A study of children’ s understanding of electricity in simple DC circuits. European Journal of Science Education 6(2): 185–198Google Scholar
- Shipstone, D. M., von Rhöneck, C., Jung, W., Kärrqvist, C., Dupin, J. J., Joshua, S., and Licht, P. (1988). A study of students’ understanding of electricity in five European countries.
*International Journal of Science Education*10(3): 303–316Google Scholar - Slater T. F., Adams J. P., Brown T R., (2000) Completing a simple circuit. Journal of College Science Teaching 30(2): 96–99Google Scholar
- Sokoloff D. R., Thornton R. K., (1997). Using interactive lecture demonstrations to create an active learning environment. The Physics Teacher 35(6): 340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thijs G. D., Bosch G. M., (1998) Cognitive effects of science experiments focusing on student’s preconceptions of force: A comparison of demonstrations and small group practicals. International Journal of Science Education 36: 526–527Google Scholar
- Thompson, A. (2002). The open source software movement: Implications for teacher educators.
*Journal of Computing in Teacher Education*110Google Scholar - Tsai C., (2001). Collaboratively developing instructional activities of conceptual change through the Internet: Science teachers’ perspectives. British Journal of Educational Technology 32(5): 619–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tsai C. C., (2003). Using a conflict map as an instructional tool to change student alternative conceptions in simple series electric-circuits. International Journal of Science Education 25(3): 307–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tupin T., Cage B. N., (2004). The effects of an integrated, activity-based science curriculum on student achievement, science process skills, and science attitudes. Electronic Journal of Literacy through Science 3: 1–16Google Scholar
- Vires, F., Attwell, G., Elferink, R., and Tödt, A. (2005). Open Source for Education in Europe: Research & Practice. Editors of conference proceedings. Open University of the Netherlands, November 14–15, 2005, HeerlenGoogle Scholar
- Wang T., Andre T., (1991). Conceptual change text versus traditional text and application questions versus no questions in learning about electricity. Contemporary Educational Psychology 16(2): 103–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Weinfurt K. P., (1985). Multivariate analysis of variance. In Grimm L. G., Yarnold. P. R., (eds.), Reading and Understanding Multivariate Statistics. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC: 245–276Google Scholar
- Wells M., Hestenes D., Swackhammer G., (1995). A modeling method for high school physics instruction. American Journal of Physics 63(7): 606–619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Windschitl M., Andre T., (1998). Using computer simulations to enhance conceptual change: The roles of constructivist instruction and student epistemological beliefs. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 35(2): 145–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Woodrow J. E. J., (1990) Locus of control and student teacher computer attitudes. Computer and Education 14: 421–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wyrembeck E. P., (2005). Using a force plate to correct student misconceptions. Physics Teacher 43(6): 384–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zacharia, Z., (2003). Using the Attitude-Behavior Theory of Reasoned Action to Understand Science Teachers’ Attitudes Towards Physics, Computer Simulations and Inquiry-Based Experiments. A paper presented at Sixth International Conference on Computer Based Learning in Science, University of Cyprus Nicosia, July 5–10 ,2003, CyprusGoogle Scholar
- Zacharia, Z., (2005). The Effects of Real and Virtual Laboratory Experimentation on Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Electric Circuits. A paper presented at 11
^{th}Eurepean Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, Multiple Perspectives on Effective Learning Environments Biennial Meeting, August 22–27, 2005, Nicosia, CyprusGoogle Scholar - Zhang J., Chen Q., Sun. Y., Reid. D. J., (2004). Triple scheme of learning support design for scientific discovery learning based on computer simulation: Experimental research. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 20: 269–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zietsman A. I., Hewson P. W., (1986). Effect of instruction using microcomputers simulations and conceptual change strategies on science learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 23: 27–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar