Cognitive Tools to Support the Instructional Design of Simulation-based Discovery Learning Environments: The SimQuest Authoring System
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imQuest is an authoring environment for creating learning environments that combine simulations with instructional support. simQuest learning environmentsare based on a computer simulation of, for example, a process, a procedure, or equipment. Learners can engage in a process of discovery by manipulating values of variables and observing the outcomes of their actions. Since discovery learning is not easy,simQuestlearning environments provide learners with instructional support that helps them in the process of discovery learning. For example, while working with the simulation, learners can ask for extra explanations of phenomena, or can ask for assignments to guide their interaction with the simulation. The simquest authoring environmentoffers authors (teachers) the possibility of creating learning environments without the need for programming knowledge or specific pedagogical knowledge. An author creates a learning environment by, first, selecting’ building blocks’ from a library, and, second, by adapting the selected elements and combining them into a complete learning environment. Building blocks include templates for simulation models, interfaces, and instructional support. In addition, authors receive’ cognitive tools’ that help them in the design and production process. These tools comprise an on-line help system, a wizard, and an advice tool.
KeywordsDiscovery learning Computer simulations Authoring environments
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