Advantages of simulation-based learning in k-12 education

By Himanshu Gupta

This article discusses about my experience inside the classroom after the recent implementation of physics simulation software SimPhy.

Remember that Tom & Jerry cartoon you used to watch as kids? Simulations leave a similar kind of impression on human brains. They are easy to understand and even easier to remember. A recent study on randomly selected high school students aged between 15 to 16 years revealed students who were taught using simulations assistance performed three times better than other students taught using traditional practices. But the major challenge while implementing such solutions inside a classroom till now had been the absence of a user-friendly simulator which can easily and precisely model different physical scenarios and satisfy the imaginative minds of young students. Most of the solutions available out there rely majorly on animations and pre-defined limited number of variables. To an extent these solutions solved some of the questions asked by the students but most of them lacked the mathematical rigour which a high school student need.

Photo Credit: Himanshu Gupta

Recently I introduced physics simulation engine SimPhy inside my classrooms. I used the software to display textbook problems of mechanics, ray optics, current electricity, oscillations and waves. Here are some of the key experiences as a teacher that I experienced inside my classroom:

  1. Attention: There was a significant improvement in the attention span of students in the class. During previous session, I had to push some backbenchers to participate more in the class, this time questions were coming from students who do not participate frequently in classroom discussions.
  2. Understanding of the topic: A shift in questions of students who attended the class was seen from explaining the concept again to what if scenarios. This helped me in framing more relevant questions according to the NEET pattern.
  3. Ability to solve questions: Students were able to solve questions easily and quickly from topics which primarily rely on mathematics such as waves and oscillations.
  4. Retention: The average marks of fortnightly tests improved for the topics over which I displayed the simulations.
  5. Simulations Replay: I used to design and save some of the simulations for class beforehand to save the class’s time. While playing the simulations inside the class, I frequently paused the simulations to explain the concept and then replayed them again and again to explain things from different point of view. This helped me to clear some of the trickiest concepts for students like frame of reference.
Photo Credit: Himanshu Gupta

The fluidity of the interface and its ease to use were the primary reasons I started using SimPhy but after seeing the results, I’m very excited to use it further inside my classrooms.

Photo Credit: Himanshu Gupta

(Article and Photos by Himanshu Gupta)

Himanshu Gupta (Author) Profile:

Himanshu Gupta

Himanshu Gupta is an educator, tech enthusiast and founder of digital marketing start-up WikiPens. He is a graduate from IIT Dhanbad and has helped thousands of students in their preparation for JEE and NEET. Himanshu is currently working with Physics Wallah and has his share of working with renowned institutions including Aakash institute. His mission is to use technology to help students learn deep concepts in simplest way possible. He wants to make learning fun and create interest among students.