Facilitating understanding of image formation through the luminous ray model mediated by virtual simulation

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Abstract

The ray model is usually applied to explain optical phenomena involving light propagation through an optical system and the formation of an image. However, students have difficulties understanding the image formation in some cases because the traditional ray model only represents special light rays. In the present study, we replaced the traditional ray model with the luminous ray model (LRM) to help students understand image formation. In addition, the positive impact of virtual simulation (VS) in the learning process has been documented over the past few decades. The purposes of this study were to investigate high school students' conceptual change in learning image formation through the LRM, and to explore the learning effectiveness of VS on learning different optical concepts. The results indicated that the LRM is helpful in improving students' conceptual understanding. A further analysis showed that VS+LRM was more beneficial than other groups regarding the concept that the object lying on the horizontal central axis could form a real image. These results will help science teachers develop an instructional module to facilitate students' learning of image formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-785
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Volume86
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 1

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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