1 University of Save (MOZAMBIQUE)
2 UTAD - University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 3269-3279
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.0695
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Considering the students’ participation, the integration and classroom environment are fundamental to the Teaching and Learning Process. This study is supported by the Mozambican Program for the General Secondary Education which encourages teachers to think about teaching strategies that integrate students in their own education process. The investigation was conducted because the students have many difficulties in the learning of physical concepts especially of Modern Physics. Photoelectric effect appears as one of the concepts where students reveal greater difficulties, low achievements, and lack of motivation during lessons. Furthermore, the lack of Physics Laboratories in most Mozambican secondary schools makes it impossible to carry out photoelectric effect experiments during classes. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of the use of a PhET simulation as a strategy for teaching and learning the concept of photoelectric effect.

Simulations can be applied in the Teaching and Learning Process in order to allow students to develop competences and convictions that boost their motivation, creativity and analysis capacity. Technological development has brought to the learning process simulators that can demonstrate virtual reality with great similarity to real life which enables students to have a broad view of such reality through a computer screen.

A quantitative and qualitative research of quasi-experimental nature was carried out in the Secondary School in Inharrime district, Mozambique, with a sample of 20 students of the 12th grade divided into two groups: 10 students from the experimental group (PhET simulation was applied in this group) and 10 from the control group (concepts were taught without PhET simulation).

The analysis of the learning consisted in the comparison of the pre-test and post-test results between the two groups.

The school has got a computing room with 20 computers which makes possible that each student uses their own computer. In each computer a PhET simulator was installed so that the proposed experiences were carried out successfully.

A pre-test was applied to find out: the students background knowledge and to distinguish between the two groups that composes the sample (experimental and control groups) and a post-test was also applied in order to evaluate the contribution of PhET simulation as a didactic resource in the Process of Teaching and Learning of the concept of photoelectric effect.

From our results it is possible to conclude that the use of the PHET simulation as a didactic strategy in the learning of the Photoelectric Effect influences positively the acquisition of knowledge about this concept since the percentage of students with positives classifications increases from 30% (pre-test) to 90% (post-test) while in the control class, learning has not improved (30% pre-test and 20% post-test). Even though this study has proven that the use of the PhET simulation is efficient for understanding the Photoelectric Effect, the computational simulations cannot replace the equipment in a real or conventional laboratory since there are practical and manipulation aspects related to the operation of the real equipment that simulators do not address.
Virtual Laboratory, Computational Simulation, PhET Simulation, Physics Teaching, Photoelectric Effect, Meaningful Learning.