AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Lecture/Classroom II
  Paper Type: Poster
  Title: Is It Feasible to Incorporate VPython Programming into Introductory Physics?
  Meeting: 2018 Winter Meeting: San Diego, CA
  Location: N/A
  Time: 8:30PM
  Author: Deva O'Neil,, Bridgewater College,
5408288004, doneil@bridgewater.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: In 2016, students in General Physics at Bridgewater College were introduced to programming in Glowscript, a web-based environment for VPython. Most students were physics and chemistry majors with little or no previous programming experience. In homework assignments and in recitation section, students used Glowscript to simulate objects moving under the influence of forces. A written survey at the end of the semester probed student comfort level with the programming activities (N = 30). Results were mixed; while most students (25) felt adequately prepared, a significant minority of students expressed frustration with the coding assignments. In response, two changes are being implemented in the 2017 course offering: more templates are provided to students to structure their code, and lab activities will replace most of the take-home assignments, so that students will have immediate access to the instructor while developing and debugging their code.
  Footnotes: None
  Presentation: AAPT 2018 Feasibility of Prog large format v2.pdf

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