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Title: Use of virtual environments to improve Physics learning : report from a case study
Authors: Trindade, Jorge 
Fiolhais, Carlos 
Keywords: Realidade virtual; Água
Issue Date: 2002
Citation: TRINDADE, Jorge F. ; FIOLHAIS, Carlos – Use of virtual environments to improve Physics learning : report from a case study. In TALLER INTERNATIONAL SOBRE LA ENSEÑANZA DE LA FÍSICA EN INGENIERÍA, 5 ; TALLER INTERNATIONAL DE LA FÍSICA APLICADA, 2, La Habana, Cuba ; MARTINEZ, A., ed. – V Taller International sobre la Enseñanza de la Física en Ingeniería y II Taller International de la Física Aplicada, La Habana, Cuba. [CD-ROM] [S.l.] :[s.n.], 2002.
Serial title, monograph or event: Taller International sobre la Enseñanza de la Física en Ingeniería, 5 ; Taller International de la Física Aplicada, 2
Abstract: Students who are mostly visual-spacial learners (i.e., who prefer to understand the world through their eyes and to express their ideas through graphical arts) may dislike traditional Physics classes because of its overemphasis on lecturing, rote memorization, and drill and practice exercises. It is clear that these and other students should be involved in their learning more than simply listening to lectures or reading textbooks. Advances in computer technology have lead to various high-quality educational tools including interactive programs, multimedia presentations and, more recently, virtual reality. Virtual reality is a computer interface characterized by a highdegree of immersion and interaction, making the user believe that he is actually inside the artificial environment. We have built a virtual environment - Virtual Water - to support the learning of some concepts of Physics and Chemistry at the final high school and first year university levels. It is centered in the microscopic structure of water and explores concepts related to phases of matter and phse transitions. We have carried put a qualitative studfy with first year students of Physics, Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry, Physics Engineering and Civil Engineering courses of the University of Coimbra, Portugal. Being asked before the use of our software to describe their views on phases and phase transitions, students revealed some misunderstandings which are common in the pedagogical literatur. We have tried to overcome them by making students to explore the virtual environment with the aid of a script. We concluded that graphics visualization tools with three-dimensional animations were usueful to increase the understanding of phase transitions, althrough no much value was added to the understanding of the phases themselves.
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Física - Artigos em Livros de Actas

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