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Principles for the Design and Use of Simulations in Science Learning as Exemplified by a Prototype Microworld Article

, , University of Georgia, United States ; , , Iowa State University, United States

JCMST Volume 19, Number 3, ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

This article attempts to contribute to the clarification of princi-ples for the design and use of simulation software in science learning by combining a reflective process of identification of im-portant questions with empirical evidence from limited use of a “microworld” application designed and developed by the first author. We first outline a series of issues, growing out of a criti-cal review of the literature, which we believe remain unresolved or even unaddressed by many researchers, software developers, teachers, and teacher educators in the field of science education. The most salient of these are: (a) the occasional great importance of fine details of the user interface to the practical value of edu-cational software; (b) the distinction between abstract, usually quantitative, computer modeling as a specific means versus a general end of science instruction; (c) the importance of attention to levels of understanding in the curriculum context of simulation use; and (d) approaches to conceptual enhancement of simulation software design, including, but not limited to, the notions of mul-tiple representations and scaffolding and fading.

Citation

JACKSON, D.F., KIM, T.K., Yarger, D.N. & Boysen, P.J. (2000). Principles for the Design and Use of Simulations in Science Learning as Exemplified by a Prototype Microworld. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 19(3), 237-252. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved January 21, 2018 from .

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