Facilitating the design of physics active learning problems through authoring simulation tools: AuthorPhysics uri icon


  • Active learning is an educational strategy that promotes the development of the student's critical and creative thinking through carefully designed activities. The teacher often faces challenges to design adequate physics problems because it demands a high effort to have enough variety of exercises for several students' levels. In addition, it is important to display exercises in an attractive visual and interactive environment, but this requires deep computer knowledge. Most common simulators in the literature are visually attractive, but are often designed to solve a particular or limited problem. Authoring tools have the advantage to allow building several learning environments, involving professors without computer expertise. Therefore, teachers require less effort and time to develop simulation problems. In this work we present an on line authoring simulation tool, called AuthorPhysics, aimed to facilitate the design of physics active learning problems, reducing instructors' time and effort. An initial evaluation of the usability and benefits of the system for the instructors was carried on. The results are encouraging in the sense that teachers are able to create a great variety of physical scenarios and problems, appropriate for introductory undergraduate and high-school physics courses. An evaluation with students is currently running. © 2011 IEEE.

Publication date

  • December 1, 2011