Programming and its affordances for physics education: A social semiotic and variation theory approach to learning physics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The paper describes a theoretical analysis of programming and what it offers in terms of the meaning-making process. It finds that programming provide opportunity to iterate, to visualise and to perform transductions. Each affordance has been shown to affect the meaning-making process and can enhance it if used in a meaningful way. By using variation theory as a lens of these affordances, we identify that the different affordances, provided by programming, can be used to great effect in a learning environment and showcases some excerpts from an earlier study that shows this.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Physics Topics
  • Didactics


  • Affordances, Physics Education Research, Programming, Social Semiotics, Variation Theory
Original languageEnglish
Article number010127
JournalPhysical Review Physics Education Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 13
Publication categoryResearch

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Related research output

Kim Svensson, Urban Eriksson, Ann-Marie Pendrill & Ouattara, L., 2020 Apr 1, International Conference on Physics Education (ICPE) 2018. IOP Publishing, Vol. 1512. 012026. (Journal of Physics: Conference Series; vol. 1512).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding

Kim Svensson, 2020 Feb 26, Lund: Media-Tryck, Lund University, Sweden. 159 p.

Research output: ThesisLicentiate Thesis

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