US-Australia Planning Visit: Foundational Research on Student Use of Interactive Science Simulations on Tablet Devices

September 1st, 2014 - August 31st, 2015 | PROJECT

This project will study two emerging and innovative technologies: interactive, dynamic simulations and touch-based tablet devices. The use of touch-based tablet technology (e.g., iPads) in the classroom is rapidly increasing, though little research has been done to understand effective implementation for learning science. Interactive simulations are now in use across K-16 levels of education, though what impact tablet devices have on the effective implementation of science simulations is not yet known. This project will explore this new frontier in education, over a range of contexts, providing new insight into effective interactive simulation design, classroom facilitation techniques, and the effects of tablet-based simulation use on underrepresented populations in STEM courses. Together, Dr. Emily Moore (PhET, UCB), a leader in interactive simulation design and classroom use, and Dr. Roy Tasker of the University of Western Sydney (UWS), a leader in chemistry education research, science visualizations, and teaching with technology, will research on the new technology frontier in science education - laying the groundwork for future investigations of foundational questions in technology use for learning science. This work has great potential to transform the future of science learning, making it both more engaging and more effective for diverse populations. The research findings will immediately impact 1) the design of new and existing PhET simulations - reaching millions of students and teachers using PhET simulations worldwide - and 2) the development of best practices guidelines for teachers using tablet technology to increase student learning, engagement, and participation in STEM disciplines.

Project Website(s)

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Project Products

Team Members

Emily Moore, Principal Investigator, University of Colorado, Boulder


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: Catalyzing New Intl Collab
Award Number: 1427782
Funding Amount: 25408


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: Computing and information science | Education and learning science | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Games | Simulations | Interactives | Higher Education Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Media and Technology | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops