Date of Award


Document Type

Master's report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Science Education (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


Kedmon Hungwe


This study explores the effects of modeling instruction on student learning in physics. Multiple representations grounded in physical contexts were employed by students to analyze the results of inquiry lab investigations. Class whiteboard discussions geared toward a class consensus following Socratic dialogue were implemented throughout the modeling cycle. Lab investigations designed to address student preconceptions related to Newton’s Third Law were implemented. Student achievement was measured based on normalized gains on the Force Concept Inventory. Normalized FCI gains achieved by students in this study were comparable to those achieved by students of other novice modelers. Physics students who had taken a modeling Intro to Physics course scored significantly higher on the FCI posttest than those who had not. The FCI results also provided insight into deeply rooted student preconceptions related to Newton’s Third Law. Implications for instruction and the design of lab investigations related to Newton’s Third Law are discussed.

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