THE EFFECT OF COMPUTER SIMULATIONS OVER THE STUDENTS´ SUCCESS ON PHYSICS COURSES
The aim of this study was to observe the effect of computer-based instruction with simulation technique used in teaching a Physics course on the students´ Physics success. The research has been carried out in 2012-203 academic year on 480 students who studied Physics I Course at the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering at the Technical University of Madrid. In this Physics course, evaluation demanded the completion of various on line tests (achievement in these tests contributed to 5% of the final grade), the continuous assessment (CA) activities at home or not (5%) the practical work (10%) and the written exams after finishing each part (40% each part).
In order to increase the low percentages of passed students of previous courses, the Innovative Group at the Physics and Mechanics Department carried out a pilot experience to evaluate if the use of interactive simulations in face-to-face classes to illustrate theoretical explanations could improve the grades of tests and exams and decrease the rate of drop out. While 5 groups used the classical teaching techniques, one teacher used a mixed method (experimental group). All the teachers taught the same physics program, solved the same problems in class, and all the written exams were corrected by the same tribune.
Spanish Universities use two different rate, success rate and efficiency rate, to evaluate the student´s Physics success. In the experimental group, both rates were greater than the obtained on the other groups; in addition the mean average grades on all tests were also greater in the experimental group than the corresponding to the other groups.