June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.321.1 - 22.321.11
Characterization of Student Model Development in Physical and Virtual LaboratoriesAbstractThis study characterizes student teams’ use of models as they proceed through three laboratoryprojects in the first quarter of the capstone laboratory sequence in the XXX Department at XXXUniversity. Two of the laboratories are physical laboratories, based on the unit processes of heatexchange and ion exchange. Sandwiched between these two laboratories, students undergo avirtual laboratory. The virtual laboratory can be used to simulate complex or expensive toolsthat are not readily available for use by undergraduate students, but that are more representativeof industrial systems. In this study, a virtual chemical vapor deposition laboratory is used. Theinstructional design of the virtual laboratory project is intended to complement the physicallaboratory projects in the curriculum. Students interact with a three-dimensional computersimulation to gather data. In the virtual mode, there is lower cognitive demand required toperform the actual experiments. This aspect affords the students the opportunity to build a richexperimental design based on interpretation and iteration.Previously, we have reported a graphical method that has been developed, termed modelrepresentation and usage maps. These maps characterize student teams’ model development asthey proceed through a laboratory project. Classifications in the graphical representation ofmodel development include: nature of the model component (quantitative, qualitative, graphical,empirical, statistical), utility of the model component (operationalized, abandoned, not engaged),correctness of the model component, action based on the model component (did it direct thevalues of input variables for a future run, was a run used to quantify model parameters, was themodel qualitatively verified, etc.), and emotional responses to model verification or mismatch.Data sources include laboratory journals, written work products, and, for the virtual laboratory,experimental records available through the instructor interface. In this paper, the modelrepresentation and usage maps for 14 teams are developed as they complete both physical andvirtual laboratory projects. Analysis of the model representation and usage maps confirms thatthe virtual laboratory project affords students a richer opportunity for model development,modification, and use of evidence-based reasoning.
Nefcy, E. J., & Harding, P. H., & Koretsky, M. (2011, June), Characterization of Student Model Development in Physical and Virtual Laboratories Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17602
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