Title

Electric Field Simulator

Electric Field Simulator

The objective of this simulation is to improve students' conceptual understanding of how electric fields are impacted by a configuration of charges by creating a dynamic representation of the electric field lines, field vectors, equipotential lines, and the voltage created by the charges on screen. After creating a charge distribution, the simulation visualizes the motion of test charges through the electric field. 

This simulation was built in JavaScript and so it should run on most browsers on a computer or mobile device.

Developed by Ted Mburu, Class of 2023,
Assessed by Liana Rodelli, Class of 2020,

with the guidance of Dr. Colleen Countryman, Dr. John Barr, Dr. Doug Turnbull, Ithaca College Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ithaca College Department of Computer Science, the Ithaca College Informational Technologies, the p5.js project, and Daniel Shiffman (The Coding Train).

The work has been presented at two national conferences: the Summer 2020 American Association of Physics Teachers Meeting and the 2020 National Society of Black Physicists Conference.

Electric Field Game (In Development)

The core physics principles of the simulation have also been used as the foundation of the mechanics of an educational game, still in development. Our aim in the gamification of the simulation is to improve motivation and engagement in the material. 

This game was built in JavaScript and so it should run on most browsers on a computer or mobile device.

Developed by Ted Mburu, Class of 2023,
Assessed by Liana Rodelli, Class of 2020,

with the guidance of Dr. Colleen Countryman, Dr. John Barr, Dr. Doug Turnbull, Ithaca College Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ithaca College Department of Computer Science, the Ithaca College Informational Technologies, the p5.js project, and Daniel Shiffman (The Coding Train).

Supplementary Instructional Videos (In Development)

Instructional videos (like those from Khan Academy) have been shown to increase student achievement and motivation. We use cognitive theory of multimedia learning to inform the creation of the videos and develop a means of assessing their effectiveness in our courses.

Videos produced by Ted Mburu, Class of 2023, and Chris Weil, Class of 2022.
Video analytics assessed by Raymond Rogers, Class of 2021.

Current Projects

DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGIES

Colleen Countryman

Some physics concepts are particularly challenging to grasp because the objects (like electric fields or moving charges) cannot be touched or seen by the naked eye. In these cases, simulations and instructional games can aid students’ understanding. Use multimedia learning theory to develop and program educational technologies to improve comprehension and attitudes. What are the best ways to engage students? How can we make a game both fun and informational? What programming frameworks will make the technology most accessible and usable? This project focuses on learning about instructional resource development, coding, and app design.

Learning assistant working with students.

ANALYZING THE IMPACT ON STUDENTS

Colleen Countryman

While educational technologies might be developed with good intentions and research-based methods, we must determine the actual impact that they have on their target audience – students! Do students perform better on tests after using the technology? How does their performance shift compare to the use of other tools? Does the new technology help certain students more than others? This part of the project focuses on collecting and analyzing data from real students. 

ADDRESSING STUDENT NEEDS

Colleen Countryman

Physics is a notoriously challenging subject area, especially for introductory students who are encountering the concepts for the first time. We are creating a series of supplementary instructional videos created by peer learning coaches to target students’ need for additional help outside of class. We want to build a repository of these videos, arranged by student need and topic area. What videos should we create? Do the videos help students’ performance? Do they help their confidence? This part of the project focuses on creating tutorial videos, analyzing data, and building an online framework for students to find the help they need.