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Technology-Based Content through Virtual and Physical Modeling: A National Research Study

Authors:

Jeremy Ernst ,

North Carolina State University, US
About Jeremy

An Assistant Professor in Technology, Engineering, and Design Education at North Carolina State University, Raleigh.

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Aaron Clark

North Carolina State University, US
About Aaron
An Associate Professor in Graphic Communication at North Carolina State University, Raleigh.
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Abstract

This study contributes to the findings established by previous Visualization in Technology Education research that individual technological and scientific knowledge and abilities can be strengthened through the study and creation of visualizations (Clark & Ernst, 2006; Ernst & Clark, 2007). From the analyses of the Visualization in Technology Education field test data, it was found that students who participated in the program significantly increased their knowledge in the areas of technology in 10 of the 12 units. In Unit 4, Transportation Rocketry, and Unit 5, 3D Modeling, students showed some gain in technological content knowledge but the gain was not statistically significant. An observational follow-up on these two units revealed that some teacher participants reverted to traditional methods instead of those prescribed by the project. Both Rocketry and 3D modeling have a relatively long history in technology education as a means of conveying important concepts and principles. This content can be deepened and strengthened through virtual means with activities that apply mathematical (geometric), aeronautical, and physics principles. However, this can be accomplished only if the teacher follows the prescribed instructional and laboratory practices. With the exception of these two units, this study supports the conclusions of previous research that showed student retention of information is enhanced through scientific visualization (see Bomphrey, 2006; Payri, Pastor, Garcia, &Pastor, 2007).
How to Cite: Ernst, J., & Clark, A. (2009). Technology-Based Content through Virtual and Physical Modeling: A National Research Study. Journal of Technology Education, 20(2), 23–36. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jte.v20i2.a.2
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Published on 22 Mar 2009.
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