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Title: Characterizing Student Theory Building in the Context of Block-Based Agent-Based Modeling Microworlds
Authors: Swanson, Hillary
Martin, Kit
Sherin, Bruce
Wilensky, Uri
Keywords: Design
Issue Date: Jun-2020
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Swanson, H., Martin, K., Sherin, B., & Wilensky, U. (2020). Characterizing Student Theory Building in the Context of Block-Based Agent-Based Modeling Microworlds. In Gresalfi, M. and Horn, I. S. (Eds.), The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020, Volume 3 (pp. 1701-1704). Nashville, Tennessee: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Engaging students in authentic science practices is critical to science education. This paper presents the design of a block-based agent-based modeling microworld meant to support students’ engagement in the scientific practice of theory building. We characterize the theory building of one student, Sage, in the context of her construction of a model of a zombie apocalypse. Using a fine-grained analysis, we identify critical elements of Sage’s theory building, including moves pertaining to her initial articulation, testing, refinement and application of the model, as well as meta-knowledge about the nature of the model. We present these elements and then illustrate each using data from Sage’s construction of the zombie apocalypse model.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2020

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