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The Use of Student Mentors in an Eco-simulation for Whole Class Instruction

, , West Virginia University, United States

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Austin, Texas, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-92-1 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


A basic computer model of a forest ecosystem was constructed using StarLogo software. During whole class instruction it was noticed that the students were often more focused on the software than the science literacy skills needed to examine the workings of the ecosystem. The difficulty is on the one hand to maintain lesson focus while on the other dealing with the inherent difficulties to this type of software for instruction. One way to accomplish a balance between these needs would be to train student-to-student mentors who would have enough prior knowledge of the software in order for them to be able to deal with the inevitable problems that would crop up during whole classroom instruction. They would intervene with specific students who were having issues and thereby help the entire class stay focused on the intended learning outcome.


Dowling, A. & Ahern, T. (2012). The Use of Student Mentors in an Eco-simulation for Whole Class Instruction. In P. Resta (Ed.), Proceedings of SITE 2012--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 2515-2518). Austin, Texas, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 24, 2019 from .


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