Can active integration of multiple representations foster simulation-based learning?

In: Instructional design for effective and enjoyable computer-supported learning. Proceedings of the first joint meeting of the EARLI SIGs "Instructional Design" and "Learning and Instruction with Computers"
Tübingen: Knowledge Media Research Center (2004), S. 127-137
Buchaufsatz / Kapitel / Fach: Angewandte Kognitionswissenschaften
Discovery learning with computer simulations is a demanding task for many learners.
Frequently, even fostering systematic and goal-oriented learning behavior does not lead to better learning
outcomes. This can be due to missing prerequisites such as the coherent mental integration of different
types of representations comprised in the simulations and in the surrounding learning environment. Our
own prior studies demonstrated that learning performances can be enhanced by encouraging learners to
interactively and externally relate different static sources of information to each other before exploring
dynamic and interactive visualizations. In an experimental study addressing the domain of mechanics it
was largely confirmed that the active integration of representations can improve simulation-based
learning outcomes.

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