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Do computer simulations help students learn science? How can we tell? Are there negative implications of using simulations to teach students about real world phenomena? In this paper I describe my experience using a computer simulation on air resistance. In order to parse out the effects of using the computer simulation and of having an interactive learning environment, I compare two classes which both had interactive learning environments. One class used the simulation and the other class used only a set of paper and pencil activities. In the two different learning environments, there appears to be differences in how students approached learning. However, student performance on a common exam question on air resistance was not significantly different.
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