The Impact of Three‐dimensional Computational Modeling on Student Understanding of Astronomy Concepts: a Qualitative Analysis

Hansen, John A. and Barnett, Michael and MaKinster, James G. and Keating, Thomas (2004) The Impact of Three‐dimensional Computational Modeling on Student Understanding of Astronomy Concepts: a Qualitative Analysis. International Journal of Science Education, 26 (13). ISSN 0950-0693 (Print), 1464-5289 (Online)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690420001673766

Abstract

In this study, we explore an alternate mode for teaching and learning the dynamic, three‐dimensional (3D) relationships that are central to understanding astronomical concepts. To this end, we implemented an innovative undergraduate course in which we used inexpensive computer modeling tools. As the second of a two‐paper series, this report focuses on the qualitative differences of students' understandings of both spatial and declarative knowledge domains as reflected by their two distinct learning environments — a traditional astronomy classroom and an experimental astronomy course grounded in problem‐solving and modeling with dynamic, 3D, computational modeling software. We found that students who constructed 3D computational models tended to have a more scientifically sophisticated understanding of dynamic spatial relationships, whereas students in the traditional class developed more accurate understandings of the properties and general facts and figures regarding celestial bodies.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Mr Saeed Salimpour
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2018 23:31
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2018 05:56
URI: http://istardb.org/id/eprint/1915

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