Coupling Conversational Interactivity with Other Presentation Modes in the Learning of Physics

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

The project extends a conversational Web-based interface to a tutorial learning environment in physics. Within this environment we formally study student learning and establish, through this research, design principles which are specifically focused on this new mode of computer-student interaction. The research will investigate what types of integrations are most effective in providing scaffolding for student learning of physics concepts, for encouraging students to reflect on their learning, and for enhancing transfer of knowledge to the learning of physics.


The setting for this project includes students in introductory physics in several secondary schools and Kansas State University.

Research Design: 

This is a cross-sectional and comparative study designed to generate descriptive [design research, observational phenomenological], associative [quasi-experimental] and causal [quasi-experimental] evidence. Original data are collected through assessments of learning or achievement tests; observation [personal, web logs]; and survey research [semi-structured interviews]. This project uses the Force Concept Inventory.

Statistical comparisons are made on pre- and post-tests with questions taken from the Force Concept Inventory. Phenomenographic analysis of observations during the online sessions is also part of the research design.


This project has not yet generated findings.

Publications & Presentations: 

ALT-Pathway: A Web-based Synthesis of the Student-Tutor Interaction:

Investigating Web-Based Synthetic Physics Tutoring: Research on What Works