The PhET research page contains an updated list of all research papers about PhET:
Descriptions of what the PhET team has learned about student learning and user interface design from student interviews:
- A Study of Educational Simulations Part I - Engagement and Learning, W. K. Adams, S. Reid, R. LeMaster, S. B. McKagan, K. K. Perkins, M. Dubson and C. E. Wieman, Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 19(3), 397-419, July 2008.
- A Study of Educational Simulations Part II – Interface Design, W. K. Adams, S. Reid, R. LeMaster, S. B. McKagan, K. K. Perkins, M. Dubson and C. E. Wieman, Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 19(4), 551-577, October 2008.
Research showing that open conceptual questions lead to more student engagement than more guided activities:
- How does the type of guidance affect student use of an interactive simulation?, A. Paulson, K. Perkins, and W. Adams, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., in review, 2009.
Research showing that students learn as well or better in a laboratory and lecture with the real equipment replaced by the Circuit Construction Kit simulation:
- Can Computer Simulations Replace Real Equipment in Undergraduate Laboratories? N. D. Finkelstein, K. K. Perkins, W. Adams, P. Kohl, and N. Podolefsky, PERC Proceedings, 2004.
- When learning about the real world is better done virtually: a study of substituting computer simulations for laboratory equipment, N.D. Finkelstein, W. K. Adams, C. J. Keller, P. B. Kohl, K. K. Perkins, N. S. Podolefsky, S. Reid, R. LeMaster , Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 1, 010103, 2005.
- Assessing the Effectiveness of a Computer Simulation in Introductory Undergraduate Environments, C. J. Keller, N. D. Finkelstein, K. K. Perkins, and S. J. Pollock, PERC Proceedings, 2006.
General article about PhET, includes research showing that using the Wave on String simulation to demonstrate standing waves in lecture leads to improved performance on a concepTest over a traditional demonstration with a real string:
- PhET: Interactive Simulations for Teaching and Learning Physics, Katherine Perkins, Wendy Adams, Michael Dubson, Noah Finkelstein, Sam Reid, Carl Wieman, Ron LeMaster , The Physics Teacher, 44(1), 18, 2006.
Research showing that students learn just as well when using Tutorials in Introductory Physics with the real equipment replaced by the Circuit Construction Kit simulation:
- Assessing the effectiveness of a computer simulation in conjunction with Tutorials in Introductory Physics in undergraduate physics recitations, C. J. Keller, N.D. Finkelstein, K. K. Perkins, and S. J. Pollock, PERC Proceedings, 2005.
The development and assessment of a curriculum using the Photoelectric Effect simulation:
- "A research-based curriculum for teaching the photoelectric effect," S. B. McKagan, W. Handley, K. K. Perkins, and C. E. Wieman, American Journal of Physics, 77, 87 (2009).
In addition to research by the PhET team, the PhET simulations and Activity Guidelines are based on general research on how people learn:
- How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, J. D. Bransford, A. L. Brown, and R. R. Cocking (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1999).