Theses and Dissertations


Qiaowu Li

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mzoughi, Taha

Committee Member

Winger Jeff, A.

Committee Member

Foley, John T.

Committee Member

Atkinson, Robert K.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Physics and Astronomy


In recent years there has been an increased interest on the role of web-based simulations in student learning. I have conducted a preliminary study on the effectiveness of interactivity in 3-Dimensional simulations to help students learn the interference phenomenon. The study was based on a Pretest-Posttest design with the experimental and control groups completing different but equivalent web-based tutorials. The experimental tutorial was based on the use of highly interactive 3-dimentional simulations developed by the WebTOP project. The only difference between the control tutorial and the experimental tutorial is that the control tutorial used static images instead of simulations. The content of both tutorials addressed the common misconceptions students usually have about waves and interference as identified in previous physics education research. The results suggest that student learning from both tutorials was significant with no significant difference in learning between the two groups. The study also identified several factors that might have affected the results and that should be the subject of further study.