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American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, 3(10A), 1-6
DOI: 10.12691/EDUCATION-3-10A-1
Research Article

Iconic Representation in Virtual Physics Labs

Nicole Simon1,

1Engineering/Physics/Technology Department, Nassau Community College, United States of America

Pub. Date: October 23, 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educational Technology, Communication and Learning)

Cite this paper

Nicole Simon. Iconic Representation in Virtual Physics Labs. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(10A):1-6. doi: 10.12691/EDUCATION-3-10A-1

Abstract

The use of imagery and iconic representation of scientific concepts is a key component in improving Critical Thinking (CT) skills while maintaining optimal Cognitive Load (CL) within higher education STEM learners. Laboratory experiences are a vital component within science education, while rote traditional lab experiments are currently not addressing inquiry nor linking with educational technologies [16]. Existing research regarding science learning using visualizations for information design processes such as underscoring vital information through cueing [3] and color coding [8], have focused on presenting a dynamic association between the integration of multiple representations with one another. Iconographic representations aid learners in comprehension as a form of intervention in learners who have a lower level of prior knowledge, while this method of assistance in higher levels of prior knowledge learners would impede further learning. Interaction design features must account for expertise reversal effect in the cognitive load schema targeting long-term memory [6,7]. By mitigating for this effect while constructing intervention processes, researcher and educators can reduce the impact on working memory through the use of carefully integrating iconic representations into learning of complex problem-solving techniques. The research performed was a causal-comparative quantitative study with 100 learners enrolled at a two-year community college, to determine the effects of virtual laboratory experiments on CT skills and CL. Data collection involved a quantitative analysis of pre/post-laboratory experiment surveys that included a comparison using the Revised Two-Factor Study Process survey, Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, and the Scientific Attitude Inventory survey, using a Repeated Measures ANOVA test for treatment or non-treatment [17]. By studying the manner in which learners comprehend information and reducing their cognitive load while conducting scientific experiments in Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), we are provided with the information required to structure pedagogical changes and appropriate technology resources in applicable teaching modalities [18].

Keywords

educational technology, iconic representation, critical thinking

Copyright

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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