Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

An evaluation tool for physics applets

Arcadi Pejuan Alcobé, Xavier Bohigas Janoher, Javier Jaen Herbera


Physics applets are well known appealing resources for teaching and learning physics, and there is a lot of them available on the Internet. Nevertheless, not all of them are of the same quality as such resources nor fit every specific teaching/learning purpose. The start question was why we teachers or lecturers like a given applet or not, and the answer should be based on practical evaluations of applets from the Internet, taking quality evaluation criteria already published into account. In this way, an evaluation tool was developed as a rubric which draws attention to the different aspects of an applet that are relevant for teaching or learning a physics topic, grouped into five categories. Each category is given a separate scoring based on a preparatory qualitative evaluation of the aforementioned aspects. This evaluation tool has been tested on five physics applets by four secondary-school teachers as experts in first-year students’ background. The results show the suitability degree of each of these applets as resources for different teaching/learning environments, as well as the suitability of the evaluation tool itself, which simplifies the interchange of information on physics applets among teachers and lecturers

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