From agents to continuous change via aesthetics: Learning mechanics with visual agent-based computational modeling

Pratim Sengupta, Amy Voss Farris, Mason Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Novice learners find motion as a continuous process of change challenging to understand. In this paper, we present a pedagogical approach based on agent-based, visual programming to address this issue. Integrating agent-based programming, in particular, Logo programming, with curricular science has been shown to be challenging in previousresearch on educational computing. We present a new Logo-based visual programming language-ViMAP-and, a sequence of learning activities involving programming and modeling, designed specifically to support seamless integration between programming and learning kinematics. We describe relevant affordances of the ViMAP environment thatsupports such seamless integration. We then present ViMAP-MoMo, a curricular unit designed in ViMAP for modeling kinematics, for a wide range of students (elementary- high school). Finally, we describe in detail a sequence of learning activities in three phases, discuss the underlying rationale for each phase, and where relevant, report results in the form of observational data from two studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-42
Number of pages20
JournalTechnology, Knowledge and Learning
Volume17
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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