Learning physics outside the classroom by combinating use of tablets and bodily activity
Abstract: Students´ physical inactivity during school day, decreased motivation and interest in studying natural sciences are alarming trends in Finland. The purpose of this pilot study is to develop such new methods for learning and teaching physics at upper secondary education that combine the use of ICT and bodily methods in authentic learning environments. We aim to explore how students perceive these new methods of learning physics and how the methods influence learning results. The study also has a methodological development task with the aim of identifying different pupil profiles through the use of unsupervised machine learning in order to obtain new information about students´ learning experiences on the course. We use cluster analysis in order to discover new information from the inquiries that were held after the courses. According to the results most of the students found the new methods of the courses more meaningful than the traditional classroom experiments of previous physics courses. The majority (63 %) of the students reported that use of iPads in the course promoted learning. However, the measured learning results did not differ from the control groups. We found three distinct groups of students based on their answers to the inquiry. We suggest that unsupervised machine learning can be a helpful tool for teachers to detect students` preferred learning styles and different types of personalities in the classroom.
Presider: Diane Wilcox, James Madison University