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Title: Characterizing Student Theory Building in Computational Modeling
Authors: Swanson, Hillary
Sherin, Bruce
Wilensky, Uri
Keywords: Learning Sciences
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Swanson, H., Sherin, B., & Wilensky, U. (2021). Characterizing Student Theory Building in Computational Modeling. In de Vries, E., Hod, Y., & Ahn, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2021. (pp. 745-748). Bochum, Germany: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: It is widely agreed that engaging students in authentic science practices is important for science education. Theory building is a central practice of science. Today, many scientists build theory through computational modeling. This paper characterizes the nature of student theory building in the context of computational modeling activities. Using a fine-grained grounded analysis, we identified theory-building moves in one student’s goal-directed modeling in a block-based microworld. We present moves organized into categories of building moves, testing moves, debugging moves, sense-making moves, and drawing on meta-knowledge. We then illustrate a number of the moves using a segment of transcript from the student’s theory-building activity, which was focused on modeling a flu epidemic.
Appears in Collections:ISLS Annual Meeting 2021

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