The Effects of Virtual and Computer Based Real Laboratory Applications on the Attitude, Motivation and Graphic Interpretation Skills of University Students

Ugur Sari, H. Miraç Pektaş, Harun Çelik, Talip Kirindi


In recent years, experience of students in technology-equipped laboratories has been seen as an effective way to teach and learn physics. In this sense, experiments and demonstrations using computer based data collection systems and simulations that allow students to design their own virtual experiments in the physics laboratory come into prominence. In this study, the usage of computer based laboratory and virtual laboratory applications in the physics laboratory are discussed. In this context, the effects of computer based laboratory applications and virtual laboratory applications on students' graph drawing, understanding and interpretation skills, attitudes towards the physics laboratory and motivation for learning science were investigated. Sixty university students participated in the pre-test post-test semi-experimental design study. While the control group carried out experiments on the laws of motion with computer based laboratory, the experimental group performed the same experiments with virtual laboratory applications. The data of the study were collected through attitude scale, motivation scale and graph drawing, understanding and interpretation test. Independent sample t-tests were used in the analysis of the data. The findings show that computer based laboratory practices are more effective in the development of students' ability to draw, understand and interpret graphics than virtual laboratory applications. It has been determined that both computer based laboratory and virtual laboratory applications have a positive effect on students' attitudes and motivations. Also, computer based laboratory applications were found to be more effective in increasing students' motivation levels for communication, collaborative work, and participation than virtual laboratory applications. The findings of the study suggest that computer based laboratory applications in physics laboratories are more effective than virtual laboratory applications.

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