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What Levels of Guidance Promote Engaged Exploration with Interactive Simulations? Documents

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What Levels of Guidance Promote Engaged Exploration with Interactive Simulations? 

written by Wendy K. Adams, Archie Paulson, and Carl E. Wieman

We became teachers because we want everyone to be able to see through science the elegance in nature as we do. Our instincts and training may lead us to "tell" students about science and math as we understand it. Unfortunately research has shown that simply telling is not always the most effective way to share our understanding. Simulations are a valuable instructional resource and can provide a wealth of data about student engagement and learning. Approximately 250 interviews have been conducted with simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology (PhET) Project. We've conducted interviews using several different levels of guidance and found that the nature of guidance influences the amount of student engagement. Minimal but nonzero guidance with many of these simulations promotes optimum engaged exploration and learning.

Published October 20, 2008
Last Modified May 21, 2009

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