Thesis

An examination of high school physics student's [sic] ability to analyze graphs with computer generated graphs verses [sic] manually generated graphs

This study examined the relationship between generating graphs by computer and manual graphing on high school physics students' ability to analyze graphs. The study compared scores, on various aspects of graph analysis, between students who used computers to generate graphs and students who generated the graphs by manual graphing. The control group and the experimental group conducted the same laboratory experiments and collecting data in the same way. The control group manually generated graphs, while the experimental group used Excel to create and analyze their graphs. The data collected included pretest and posttest scores, laboratory report scores, student focus group interviews, and field notes and observations including the time it took for groups to complete the laboratories. The research findings suggest that using computers to create and analyze graphs does improve students abilities to draw meaning from the laboratory and the data collected. Although the findings data cannot be generalized to all physics students it is an indication of a need for further research of the use of computers as data analysis tools in high school physics. Keywords: data analysis, graphing, high school, physics, technology

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