Games, models and simulations: A case study in design and delivery

ID: 32088 Type: Brief Paper
  1. Terence Ahern, College of Human Resources and Education, United States
  2. Angela Dowling, Suncrest Middle School, United States

Wednesday, March 9 3:05-3:25 PM Location: McGavock's A

Presider: Catherine Schifter, Temple University, United States

Abstract: This paper reports on the findings of a study conducted in an 8th middle school class using a teacher-developed eco-simulation modeling a food web. Findings indicate that whole class instruction coupled with the use of a white-board resulted in a highly successful unit. The results show that the delivery of the agent-based model to the whole class focused the students not on the use of the technology but on the overarching problem - “How to create a sustained eco- system”. The key was the ability of the teacher not only to engage but also manage the students by using the computer-based artifact in a sustained scientific discourse of “observe, question, revise and test”. This resulted not only in a lively classroom interaction but an emergent understanding of the dynamic nature of eco-systems. Educators need to be flexible in the use of technology in the classroom.


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