Strategies For Using Interactive Simulations In Science Class


Some Core Strategies Discussed in this Site

  1. Make the underlying assumptions needed to understand the simulation explicit.
  2. Draw out or point out key features and key visual relationships while pausing or running the simulation.
  3. With the simulation stopped or paused, ask students to predict what will happen next.
  4. Suggest opportunities for students to imagine themselves within the simulation.
  5. Explicitly invite students to consider the limitations of the representation offered by the simulation.
  6. Use 'thick' questions to draw out student thinking about the simulation. Also use questions to diagnose students’ level of understanding of the simulation.
  7. Elicit gestures and drawings about the simulation.
  8. Combine a simulation with static pictures and diagrams.
  9. Use the simulation to create extreme or ideal scenarios.

This material is based upon work supported by NSF Grants DRL-1222709 and DRL-0723709. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

College of Education and
Scientific Reasoning Research Institute