Winch simulation: Multiple, linked representations of linear functions
A computer simulation of a physical system designed to embody the concept of linear function, in combination with several symbolic representations, has been developed for the investigation of students' understanding of the concepts of variables and functions. The computer simulation grounds learning about symbolic representations of function in students' intuitive understanding of the functional relations among physical quantities. In addition, the simulation and symbolic representations are connected computationally, so that dynamic changes between representations are made visible to the student. A brief description of an investigation in which students used the simulation to learn about linear functions is also presented.
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