e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 31 (2) Jun. 2023 / JSSH-8499-2021


The Effect of Using PhET in Changing Malaysian Students’ Attitude to Learning Physics in a Full Virtual Environment

Mei Eng Ng and Kah Heng Chua

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 31, Issue 2, June 2023


Keywords: Full virtual learning, PhET Interactive Simulation, Physics education, student’s attitude

Published on: 16 June 2023

This study investigated the effect of physics inquiry learning using PhET Interactive Simulation on form four students’ attitudes toward physics in a fully virtual environment during the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia. This quantitative study employed the Quasi-Experimental Design by administering the Attitude Toward Physics Lesson Scale (ATPLS). Fifty-nine form four students from a rural school located in Selangor, Malaysia, participated in this study. The control group (n1= 25) was taught in the standard thematic order as the usual teaching approach by the teacher during online lessons. In eight lessons, students only watched videos related to laboratory experiments that covered Gravitational Force, Newton’s Laws, and Gas Laws. Meanwhile, the experimental group (n2= 34) used the PhET Interactive Simulations as a treatment to explore the same topics. All test results underwent a normality test, homogeneity test, and hypothesis evaluation. The data in this study were analyzed using Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA). Findings revealed that PhET Interactive Simulation negatively impacts students’ attitudes towards physics inquiry learning during the full virtual online lessons. Further study is expected to pair PhET Interactive Simulation with other e-learning tools or platforms to provide better instant feedback and enhance students’ attitudes in physics inquiry learning.

  • Akhigbe, J. N., & Ogufere, J. A. (2019). Effect of computer simulation instructional strategy on students ’ attitude and academic achievement in genetics. KIU Journal of Social Sciences, 5(4), 305-315.

  • Arafah, K., Rusyadi, R., Arafah, B., Nur, A., & Arafah, B. (2020). The effect of guided inquiry model and learning motivation on the understanding of Physics concepts. Talent Development & Excellence, 12(1), 4271-4283.

  • Ardan, M., Rahman, F. F., & Geroda, G. B. (2020). The influence of physical distance to student anxiety on COVID-19, Indonesia. Journal of Critical Reviews, 7(17), 1126-1132.

  • Astalini, A., Kurniawan, D. A., Perdana, R., & Kurniasari, D. (2018). Identification of student attitudes toward physics learning at Batanghari District High School. The Educational Review, USA, 2(9), 475-484.

  • Bali, S., & Liu, M. C. (2018). Students’ perceptions toward online learning and face-to-face learning courses. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1108, 012094.

  • Beglar, D., & Nemoto, T. (2014). Developing Likert-scale questionnaires. JALT2013 Conference Proceedings, 1-8.

  • Bestiantono, D. S., Agustina, P. Z. R., & Cheng, T. H. (2020). How students’ perspectives about online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic? Studies in Learning and Teaching, 1(3), 133-139.

  • Cheung, D. (2009). Developing a scale to measure students’ attitudes toward chemistry lessons. International Journal of Science Education, 31(16), 2185-2203.

  • Chu, A. M. Y., Liu, C. K. W., So, M. K. P., & Lam, B. S. Y. (2021). Factors for sustainable online learning in higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sustainability. 13(9), 5038.

  • Creswell, J. W., & & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Researchdesign: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodsapproaches (5th ed.). Sage.

  • Crouch, C. H., Wisittanawat, P., Cai, M., & Renninger, K. A. (2018). Life science students’ attitudes, interest, and performance in introductory physics for life sciences: An exploratory study. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 14(1), Article 10111.

  • Demeku, E. (2019). Effects of integrating computer simulation on students’ academic achievement and attitudes towards wave motion in secondary physics lessons [Doctoral dissertation, Bahir Dar University]. DSpace Repository.

  • Department of Statistics Malaysia. (2021, May 10). Employment statistics first quarter 2021

  • Economic Planning Unit, (2021). National Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Policy.

  • Faour, M. A., & Ayoubi, Z. (2018). The effect of using virtual laboratory on grade 10 students’ conceptual understanding and their attitudes towards physics. Journal of Education in Science, Environment and Health, 4(1), 54-68.

  • Fatimah, A. S., & Santiana, S. (2017). Teaching in 21st Century: Students-teachers’ perceptions of technology use in the classroom. Script Journal: Journal of Linguistic and English Teaching, 2(2), 125-135.

  • Fidan, M., & Tuncel, M. (2019). Integrating augmented reality into problem based learning: The effects on learning achievement and attitude in physics education. Computers and Education, 142, Article 103635.

  • Gardner, P. L. (1975). Attitudes to science: A review. Studies in Science Education, 2(1), 1-41.

  • Gusmida, R., & Islami, N. (2017). The development of learning media for the kinetic theory of gases using the ADDIE model with augmented reality. Journal of Educational Sciences, 1(1), 1-10.

  • Hacieminoglu, E. (2016). Elementary school students’ attitude toward science and related variables. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 11(2), 35-52.

  • Hamid, R., Sentryo, I., & Hasan, S. (2020). Online learning and its problems in the COVID-19 emergency period. Jurnal Prima Edukasia, 8(1), 86-95.

  • Jing, T., & Saleh, S. (2020). A comparison of Malaysian and German science teachers’ conceptions in teaching science in secondary schools. Malaysian Journal of Education, 45(2), 37-46.

  • Jufrida, J., Kurniawan, W., Astalini, A., Darmaji, D., Kurniawan, D. A., & Maya, W. A. (2019). Students’ attitude and motivation in Mathematical Physics. International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education, 8(3), 401-408.

  • Kane, S. N., Mishra, A., & Dutta, A. K. (2016). Analysing students’ level of understanding on kinetic theory of gases. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 812, Article 012105.

  • Karpudewan, M., & Mohd Ali Khan, N. S. (2017). Experiential-based climate change education: Fostering students’ knowledge and motivation towards the environment. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 26(3), 207-222.

  • Kurniawan, D. A., Astalini, A., & Sari, D. K. (2019). An evaluation analysis of students’ attitude towards physics learning at senior high school. Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, 23(1), 26-35.

  • Mahulae, P. S., Sirait, M., & Sirait, M. (2017). The effect of inquiry training learning model using PhET media and scientific attitude on students’ science process skills. IOSR Journal of Research & Method in Education, 7(5), 24-29.

  • Markus, L., Sungkim, S., & Ishak, M. Z. (2021). Issues and challenges in teaching secondary school quantum physics with integrated STEM education in Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 6(5), 190-202.

  • Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2013). Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 - 2025.

  • Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2019). Jumlah Pelajar Mengambil Kejuruteraan dan Matematik (STEM) Semakin Merosot.

  • Mohd Azman, M. Z. (2021, July 11). Minat untuk belajar semakin pudar [Interest in learning is fading away]. Sinar Harian.

  • Oh, P. S., & Yager, R. E. (2004). Development of constructivist science classrooms and changes in student attitudes toward science learning. Science Education International, 15(2), 105-113.

  • Ouahi, M. B., Hou, M. A., Bliya, A., Hassouni, T., & Al Ibrahmi, E. M. (2021). The effect of using computer simulation on students’ performance in teaching and learning physics: Are there any gender and area gaps? Education Research International, 2021, 6646017.

  • Pucholt, Z. (2021). Effectiveness of simulations versus traditional approach in teaching physics. European Journal of Physics, 42(1). 015703

  • Putra, P., Liriwati, F. Y., Tahrim, T., Syafrudin, S., & Aslan, A. (2020). The students learning from home experiences during COVID-19 school closures policy in Indonesia. Jurnal Iqra’: Kajian Ilmu Pendidikan, 5(2), 30-42.

  • Qaiser, S., Ishtiaq, H., M. Naseer, U. D., & Khalid, I. (2017). Effects of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) on students’ academic achievement in Physics at secondary level. Computer Engineering and Intelligent Systens, 8(7), 9-17.

  • Rutjens, B. T., Heine, S. J., Sutton, R. M., & van Harreveld, F. (2018). Attitudes Towards Science. In J. M. Olson (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 57, pp. 125-165). Academic Press.

  • Rutten, N., Van Joolingen, W. R., & Van Der Veen, J. T. (2012). The learning effects of computer simulations in science education. Computers and Education, 58(1), 136-153.

  • Safarati, N. (2017). The effect of model scientific inquiry using media PhET toward skills process of science viewed from critical thinking skills.Jurnal Pendidikan Fisika, 6(1), 33-38.

  • Sari, U., Pektaş, H. M., Çelik, H., & Kirindi, T. (2019). The effects of virtual and computer-based real laboratory applications on the attitude, motivation and graphic skills of university students. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 27(1), 1-17.

  • Shahroom, A. A., & Hussin, N. (2018). Industrial revolution 4.0 and education. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 8(9), 314-319.

  • Sheldrake, R., Mujtaba, T., & Reiss, M. J. (2019). Students’ changing attitudes and aspirations towards physics during secondary school. Research in Science Education, 49(6), 1809-1834.

  • Sitindaon, S. F., Bukit, N., & Turnip, B. M. (2017). The effect of guided inquiry learning using PhET media on students’ problem-solving skill and critical thinking. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(21), 129–134.

  • Syahrial, S., Asrial, A., Kurniawan, D. A., Nugroho, P., Septiasari, R., Pratama, R. A., & Perdana, R. (2019). Increased behavior of students’ attitudes to cultural values using the inquiry learning model assisted by Ethnoconstructivism. Journal of Educational Science and Technology, 5(2), 166-175.

  • Tan, C. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on student motivation, community of inquiry and learning performance. Asian Education and Development Studies, 10(2), 308-321.

  • Tobaja, M. L. M., Gil, L. J., & Solano, M. F. (2017). Collaborative learning: Use of the jigsaw technique in mapping concepts of Physics. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 75(1), 92-101.

  • Veloo, A., Nor, R., & Khalid, R. (2015). Attitude towards Physics and Additional Mathematics achievement towards Physics achievement. International Education Studies, 8(3), 35-43.

  • Wardani, T. B., Widodo, A., & Winarno, N. (2017). Using inquiry-based laboratory activities in lights and optics topics to improve students’ conceptual understanding. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 895, 012152.

  • Wieman, C. E., Adams, W. K., Loeblein, P., & Perkins, K. K. (2010). Teaching physics using PhET simulations. The Physics Teacher, 48(4), 225-227.

  • World Economic Forum. (2020). The Future of Jobs Report 2020.

  • Yehya, F. M., Barbar, A., & Abou-Rjelil, S. (2018). Learning with simulations: Influence of a computer simulation with hands-on activities on students’ learning of the physics capacitors’ concepts. Research in Social Sciences and Technology, 3(1), 109-121.

  • Yuliati, L., Riantoni, C., & Mufti, N. (2018). Problem-solving skills on direct current electricity through inquiry-based learning with PhET simulations. International Journal of Instruction, 11(4), 123-138.

  • Yusuf, I., & Widyaningsih, S. W. (2019). HOTS profile of Physics education students in STEM-based classes using PhET media. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1157(3), 032021.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Related Articles