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Title: Exploring Evolutionary Concepts with Immersive Simulations
Authors: Lui, Michelle
Slotta, James D.
Issue Date: Jun-2013
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Lui, M. & Slotta, J. D. (2013). Exploring Evolutionary Concepts with Immersive Simulations. In Rummel, N., Kapur, M., Nathan, M., & Puntambekar, S. (Eds.), To See the World and a Grain of Sand: Learning across Levels of Space, Time, and Scale: CSCL 2013 Conference Proceedings Volume 1 — Full Papers & Symposia (pp. 304-311). Madison, WI: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: This paper presents two iterations of our design of an immersive simulation and inquiry activity for exploring evolutionary concepts in a Grade 11 Biology course. Interacting with large projected displays of animated rainforest flora and fauna, students worked as "field researchers" to observe changes in life forms occurring over a 200 million year span. Students gathered evidence of evolution using networked tablet computers that scaffolded their interactions with peers and with the room itself. Improvements from the first to the second design iteration focused on (1) improving content-focused interactions within the simulation; (2) improving the integration of the simulation activity into the overall curriculum; (3) improving embodied interactions of students working within the physical space. Student explanations from the second implementation demonstrated increased variation in evolutionary topics compared to those in the first iteration. Key design features from the two iterations are discussed with respect to the observed interaction patterns.
Appears in Collections:CSCL 2013

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