ERIC Number: ED419516
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Students as Simulation Designers and Developers--Using Computer Simulations for Teaching Boundary Layer Processes.
Johnson, Tristan E.; Clayson, Carol Anne
As technology developments seek to improve learning, researchers, developers, and educators seek to understand how technological properties impact performance. This paper delineates how a traditional science course is enhanced through the use of simulation projects directed by the students themselves as a means to increase their level of knowledge comprehension and application. To facilitate the learning of geophysical fluid dynamics, faculty at a midwestern university infused the use of simulations to help students better understand the theory and application of this domain. Three areas were targeted for class restructuring: (1) students' physical understanding of the complicated mathematical structure discussed in class; (2) learning the techniques necessary for turning new physical understanding into concrete results; and (3) ability to use their simulations to drive understanding of the physical system being modeled. In this approach, students are divided into groups based on their pre-existing computer skills and areas of interest. The course lectures are integrated with each step of the simulation. At the end of the simulation experiment, a class discussion analyzes the physical nature of the differing systems and the strengths/weaknesses of the simulations. The final step allows each group to add an additional physical process. (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).