A CREATE Science Speaker Series presentation by Cindy Hmelo-Silver, Barbara B. Jacobs Chair of Education and Technology and Professor of Learning Sciences, Indiana University Bloomington.
Title: Systems and Cycles: Conceptual representations to Support Learning about Systems
This presentation will share results from a technology-rich classroom intervention that used a conceptual representation to support reasoning about ecosystems. The Components-Mechanisms-Phenomena (CMP) conceptual representation was designed to enable students to construct coherent mental models. As part of this approach, CMP was made visible through hypermedia, simulations, and a CMP modeling tool. Engaging students in modeling allowed them to make their ideas visible while being malleable and available for discussion, which enables students to make meaning out of systems. Following our intervention, students deepened their understanding of ecosystem dynamics when compared to students who engaged in traditional instruction without use of the CMP conceptual representation. I will discuss results in terms of learning trajectories and a quasi-experimental study that were part of a program of design-based research and implications for future design of learning environments.