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The impact of a simulation-based learning design project on student learning

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3 Author(s)
Chung, G.K.W.K. ; Center for Res. on Evaluation, Standards & Student Testing, California Univ., Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Harmon, T.C. ; Baker, E.L.

This study examined the effects of a sophisticated simulation-based task on students' learning of course-related content, ability to deal with complex, open-ended problems, and attitudes toward the Interactive Site Investigation Software (ISIS) and the course. Students were required to conduct a hazardous waste site investigation using the simulation software designed specifically for the course. ISIS simulated physical processes as well as real-world engineering processes. Assessment of student outcomes was based on the use of constructed-response knowledge maps to measure content understanding, and surveys to measure student attitudes and use of cognitive processes. Students reported very positive attitudes toward the ISIS experience, appeared to have gained substantial knowledge over the course of ISIS use, and perceived the ISIS activity as being generally effective in improving their skills in dealing with complex projects, linking theory to real world applications, and improving their problem-solving performance. Our assessment of student outcomes was a successful first attempt, but more work is needed to validate our measures with advanced students, particularly when the task is complex and requires interdisciplinary knowledge

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 4 )