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  Feature Name: DC Circuits: Constructing circuits (systems) from separate compone...
Author: Dorothy Langley

Category: Visualization Tools (pre-designed): Simulations, Visualization Tools (pre-designed): Data Visualizations, Visualization Tools (pre-designed): Visual Explanations (2D+3D), Open Ended Construction Tools, Inquiry Tools: Open-ended inquiry, Inquiry Tools: Guided inquiry

Subject: Physical sciences

Kind: Work Environment

 Elementary School
 Middle School
 High School
 Higher Education
 Teachers & Principals


Software URL: DC Circuits

Created by: M. Ronen, M. Eliahu , I. Yastrubinezky (programmer)

Reference URL

This Feature is connected to (2) Principles
  • Reduce visual complexity to help learners recognize salient information
  • Enable manipulation of factors in models and simulation
    Feature in Visual Map
    The environment enables students to build and test (2D) circuit models by freely manipulating (symbolic or iconic) representations of electrical components and connecting wires. The circuit’s function is represented by qualitative visual evidence (color – for light bulbs, motion – for fans and sound for bells) and/or by quantitative outputs (current, voltage, power).
    The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
    The active construction process and the manipulation of models promote awareness of the topology of a circuit and the understanding of the relations between topology and function. The underlying topology is often obscured in a real circuit by hidden connections and tangled wires.
    Context of Use:
    Design circuit from verbal description Create circuit model of a real circuit or picture or real circuit Create circuits that are visually different but functionally identical
    Field-based Evidence:
    Manipulation of symbolic models of circuits and the testing of these models helps students realize the meaning of the different ways of connecting electrical components in a circuit and the relations between the topology and the function of electric circuits (for details, see references).
    M. Ronen, M. Eliahu (2000) Simulation - A bridge between theory and reality: the case of electric circuits, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 16, 14-26.
    M. Ronen, M. Eliahu (1997) Addressing Students Common Difficulties in Basic Electricity by Qualitative Simulation Based Activities, Physics Education, 32 (6), 29-35

    Image:(Click to enlarge)