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The Simulation Cycle: Combining Games, Simulations, Engineering and Science Using StarLogo TNG

The Simulation Cycle: Combining Games, Simulations, Engineering and Science Using StarLogo TNG StarLogo The Next Generation (TNG) enables secondary school students and teachers to model decentralized systems through agent-based programming. TNG's inclusion of a three-dimensional graphical environment provides the capacity to create games and simulation models with a first-person perspective. The authors theorize that student learning of complex systems and simulations can be motivated and improved by transforming simulation models of complex systems phenomena (specifically this study examines systems including epidemics and Newtonian motion) into games. Through this transformation students interact with the model in new ways and increase their learning of both specific content knowledge and general processes such as inquiry, problem solving and creative thinking. During this study several methods for connecting the simulations to game dynamics were tried, ranging from student-created games, to altering existing games, to students playing premade games. This article presents the results of research data from two years of curriculum development and piloting in northern Massachusetts science classrooms to demonstrate the successes and challenges of integrating simulations and games. This article also explores the results of these interventions in terms of ease of implementation, student motivation and student learning. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png E-Learning and Digital Media SAGE

The Simulation Cycle: Combining Games, Simulations, Engineering and Science Using StarLogo TNG

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References (28)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2009 SAGE Publications
ISSN
2042-7530
eISSN
2042-7530
DOI
10.2304/elea.2009.6.1.71
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

StarLogo The Next Generation (TNG) enables secondary school students and teachers to model decentralized systems through agent-based programming. TNG's inclusion of a three-dimensional graphical environment provides the capacity to create games and simulation models with a first-person perspective. The authors theorize that student learning of complex systems and simulations can be motivated and improved by transforming simulation models of complex systems phenomena (specifically this study examines systems including epidemics and Newtonian motion) into games. Through this transformation students interact with the model in new ways and increase their learning of both specific content knowledge and general processes such as inquiry, problem solving and creative thinking. During this study several methods for connecting the simulations to game dynamics were tried, ranging from student-created games, to altering existing games, to students playing premade games. This article presents the results of research data from two years of curriculum development and piloting in northern Massachusetts science classrooms to demonstrate the successes and challenges of integrating simulations and games. This article also explores the results of these interventions in terms of ease of implementation, student motivation and student learning.

Journal

E-Learning and Digital MediaSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2009

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