Effectiveness of Computer
Simulation in Teaching Physics in ODL
Iqbal Shah
*
Waseem Ahmed
**
Abstract
This study was an experimental design research. It aim was to evaluate
the effectiveness of simulation in teaching of Physics at higher secondary
school level. The main objective of the study was to explore the effect of
simulation method of teaching Physics on academic achievement of
students. Achievements were compared, taught by simulation method
and conventional lecture method.
The sample comprises of forty students. Two groups of twenty
students each were formed. One group was taught by computer
simulation method and the other by conventional lecture method. The
content of the teaching material was selected from the curriculum of
Physics class XI, published by Punjab Textbook Board Lahore, Pakistan.
The achievement tests were used as a tool of the research.
The finding of the research were, that the academic achievements of
the students were significantly high through computer simulation method
as compared to the group of students studied thought through
conventional lecture method. It was recommended and suggested that
computer simulation method may be applied in the schools and colleges
for effective learning in the subject of Physics.
Keywords: Computer aided instruction, Simulation method,
Conventional lecture method and Overhead Multimedia Projector.
*
Assistant Professor, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad.
**
Research Scholar
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 12
Introduction
The conventional lecture method of teaching has now been
transformed with the advent of the computer technology. A number of
new teaching methods are being introduced in field of science teaching.
These methods are of course improved with the passage of time.
Contemporary students not only need to understand the subject
fundamentals but also advanced learning. To lead these students to
acquire the skills will demand drastic overhaul in teaching methods in
the classrooms. Modern teaching methods play a pivotal role in
improving learning. The age of blackboard and notice boards are in the
transition phase. Teachers, therefore, should use new and advanced
teaching methods. Modern classes are equipped with new teaching
techniques such as interactive whiteboards, overhead multimedia
projectors, computer simulation, computer models, animations and
educational software etc.
Simulation is the hypothetical representation of some real thing or
system or process. Computer simulation is an endeavor to model a real or
imaginary state on a computer system for the purpose of getting insight
into functionality of the system. On changing variables, predictions can
be made about the characteristics and behavior of the system. Computer
simulation is becoming a useful part of modeling many natural systems
in sciences like Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Social sciences as well
as in Engineering to gain insight into the operation of the system.
Computer simulation and animations are outstanding tools for
teaching of science courses. Animations demonstrate step-wise
sequences of numbers, images and diagrams to exemplify intricate
conceptions or theories. Simulation on the other hand is imitations of
systems. The person adds or alters certain parameters and the software
will highlight the response or changes. The conclusion is that simulation
or animation has been constructed for teaching and learning. These are
handy tools for teacher, used for assessment and facilitate in classroom
and laboratories.
Materials and Methodology
Materials used for computer simulation instructional method were,
Computer, software of the simulation, multimedia projector.
Materials used for the conventional lecture method were white
board, writing marker.
Effectiveness of Computer Simulation in Teaching Physics in ODL 13
The study was a pretest-posttest design or experimental research. All
science students of higher secondary school level in Islamabad city
constituted the population of the study. Forty students of grade xi were
taken as a sample. These students were further divided into two groups;
Experimental group ‘A’ and Control group ‘B’.
A pre-test was constructed and administered on the sample, on the
bases of the result of this test students were divided into equally two
groups as mentioned above.
Each group was consisted of 20 students. The group ‘A’ was
instructed by computer simulation method, while group ‘B’ was
instructed by the conventional lecture method. Three topics were selected
from the curriculum of the xi level Physics.
The duration of the teaching was three weeks for each group. After a
week a post-test was developed and administered on both group.
Data Analysis and Interpretation
The analysis was done with the help of MS Excel. Data was
tabulated and analyzed in terms of mean scores and t-test was used to
compare the academic achievement of both groups.
Table 1
Academic achievement of group A and B in the Pre-test
Group
N
Average
Stand. Dev.
t-value
A
20
12
3.36
0.28
B
20
11.7
Table 1 shows that t-value 0.28 is less than the critical value at
significance level 0.05 is 2.02 with degree of freedom dr3. There was no
significant difference between the mean academic scores of both groups
in the pre-test. Hence there is no difference of academic achievement of
both experimental and control groups in pre-test.
Table 2
Academic achievement of group A and B in the Post-test
Group
N
Average
Stand Dev.
t-value
A
20
14.8
1.96
0.28
B
20
11.95
3.73
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 14
Table 2 shows that t-value 3.02 is greater than the critical value at
significance level 0.05, which is 2.04 with degree of freedom df2. There
was a significant difference between the mean academic achievement
scores of both groups in the post-test. Hence there is a difference of
academic achievement of both groups after computer simulation method
used.
Table 3
Academic achievement of group ‘A’ in the post-test
Group
N
Average
Std. Dev
t-value
Experimental ‘A’
20
2.8
1.38
5.26
Table 3 shows that t-value 5.26 is greater than the critical value at
significance level 0.05, which is 2.09, with degree of freedom df2.
Therefore there was a significant difference between the mean academic
achievement score of group ‘A’ in the post-test. There was a significant
academic achievement of experimental group ‘A’ in post-test. This is the
proof that the academic achievement by the computer simulation method
is significant.
Table 4
Academic achievement of group ‘B’ in the post-test
Group
N
Average
Std. Dev.
t-value
Control ‘B’
20
0.25
0.83
1.35
Table 4 shows that t-value 1.35 is less than the critical value at
significant level 0.05, which is 2.00 with degree of freedom df2. There
was no significant difference between the mean academic achievement
score of group ‘B’ in the post-test. This proved that the academic
achievement by the conventional lecture method in not significant.
Results
The following results of the study came out after the analysis of the data.
1. The academic achievement by computer simulation method was high
as compare to that of conventional lecture method.
2. The academic achievement of experimental group ‘A’ was
significant (table 3).
Effectiveness of Computer Simulation in Teaching Physics in ODL 15
3. The academic achievement of control group ‘B’ was not significant
(table 4).
4. Comparison of two methods has been shown in table 2. There was a
difference between the achievements of the two groups.
The research concluded that computer simulation method proved to
be significantly superior to the conventional lecture method. The
computer simulation method appeared to be very much effective in
Physics teaching and in enhancing the theoretical skills of students.
Recommendations
1. Computer simulation method may be implemented to enhance
teaching of Physics.
2. In the teacher training curriculum this concept shall be introduced.
3. All physical and teaching facilities should be provided in schools and
colleges, while teaching through this method.
4. The standard and quality of Physics teaching can be improved by
applying this method of teaching.
Discussion
This study was designed to find out the effectiveness of computer
simulation method of teaching at higher secondary level. The research
was conducted for academic achievement in theoretical domains of the
Physics students. This was experimental research and academic
achievements of two groups were determined for the purpose of
effectiveness of the computer simulation. Finding of the study
demonstrated that with the help of computer simulation method the gain
in academic achievement significantly increased. Therefore it was
suggested and recommended that computer simulation method may be
applied to enhance teaching excellence.
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 16
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