Talk:Thomas Cutonilli's Portfolio Page


Feedback on your proposal -- Jianwei Zhang 15:25, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Tom, your proposal is in a very good shape. It provides you a solid foundation for your further design work. You will certainly refine your plan as you work on the learning objectives and sequencing. At this point, you may dig deeper into the literature you've found, and understand the variety of simulation tools (e.g., conceptual vs procedural, simulations in which the rules/relationships have been "designed" vs. modeling tools that have students to decide the rules and then run the models), different ways of use them, various barriers that need to be overcome, and the teacher's role, etc.

In my earlier work, I published the following papers, some of which were referenced by the papers on your reference list. These empirical papers may not be the major sources you will use (as you would want to find clear, well structured reviews of literature) but should be worth browsing.

Zhang, J., Chen , Q., Sun, Y., & Reid, D. J. (2004). A triple scheme of learning support design for scientific discovery learning based on computer simulation: Experimental research. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20 (4), 269-282.

Reid, D., Zhang, J*., & Chen, Q. (2003). Supporting scientific discovery learning in computer simulations. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 19(1), 9-20.

Nice beginning!

Feedback on your curriculum outline/map -- Jianwei Zhang 14:39, 29 October 2008 (EDT)

Re: your curriculum outline/map Thomas_Cutonilli's_Portfolio_Page#Organization_and_Content_Sequence Here are some suggestions/issues for your think about:

(a) It might be clearer to use "participants" instead of "students" when you state the objectives.

(b) The ultimate, overarching goal of this mini-course is to help participants understand how to use simulation effectively for inquiry-based learning. To this end, they need to develop knowledge about inquiry learning, simulation, and educational use of simulation. Inquiry-based learning itself is such a complex topic, so you may want to find and link to existing resources (e.g., the courses developed by Jingping Chen (etap 623 Fall 07) and others) on this topic, and focus your efforts more on simulation-based inquiry.

(c) Re. your unit 2

Unit 2 – Simulations: Bringing the Natural World to the Classroom
By the end of this unit, student will be able to:
Understand what a simulation is
Understand how simulations provide authentic experiences
Discriminate between images, animations and simulations 

I see "Discriminate between images, animations and simulations" as a sub-objective of "Understand what a simulation is" so that they can be combined into one. "Understand how simulations provide authentic experiences" is on one hand too specific and on the other hand too narrow as an "objective" that enables the ultimate outcome of being able to use simulation for inquiry learning. You may want to reword it slightly differently, e.g., understand the educational benefits of simulation tools, OR understand the potential roles of simulation in supporting inquiry learning. The potentials include but are not limited to providing authentic experiences. e.g., interaction, safety, integrating learning guidance/support, etc.

(d) Re. your unit 3

Unit 3 – A Real Experience
By the end of this unit, students will be able to:
Use a simulation to determine the nature of natural phenomena
Apply what was learned from a simulation in understanding basic laws of science

I think that your unit 3 is targeted at helping teachers/participants understand how to design and facilitate simulation-based inquiry learning instead of THEY learning science through a simulation; although having them experience a simulation can be very helpful for them to understand simulation and its educational potentials, so should be aligned under unit 2 objectives.

(e) re. unit 4, since it does not address a specific learning objective, I think you should save it. (at least not as a learning unit.) The reflection activities should go to unit 3.

Re. revised unit 3 objectives -- Jianwei Zhang 11:52, 30 October 2008 (EDT)

Unit 3 – A Real Experience

By the end of this unit, participants will be able to:

   * Demonstrate how an example simulation is used to experience the nature of natural phenomena
   * Demonstrate the application of inquiry-based learning to what was learned from an example simulation
   * Reflect..

As I understand, Unit 3 as the last unit should lead your participants to the target objective of being able to use simulation to facilitate effective inquiry learning, with unit 1 and 2 addressing enabling objectives (inquiry + simulation).

The above list of objectives are related to this, but are too much tied to the learning activities/materials you're going to use in this unit. I suggest that you explicate the objectives of this unit even further, reflecting the target objective. For example:

  • design inquiry problems/projects that can be supported by a simulation environment;
  • understand possible difficulties students may encounter in simulation-based inquiry;
  • provide learning support to facilitate effective inquiry using simulations.

Just some thoughts for you to think about.