My colleague, Katie Farnsworth, and I are adopting Dynalearn for use in my Botany and her Geology class to teach students about the role of major steps in plant evolution on composition of the atmosphere. We knew that working with causal models in Garp3 helped students learn about effects of multiple interacting processes, but students sometimes had difficulty with the task of building their own models. Dynalearn greatly simplifies model building, making it more approachable for students. The idea of students evaluating their model using the interactive hamster agents is very engaging.
DynaLearn combines four pillars into a unique intelligent learning environment:
- Conceptual modelling allows learners to express and simulate their conceptual knowledge in a way that fits the true nature of this expertise.
- Virtual characters make the interaction with the learners engaging and motivating.
- Semantic Technology is used to find and match results of co-learners working on similar ideas to provide individualised and mutually benefiting learning opportunities
- Science education workbench is tuned to fit key topics from environmental science curricula, and evaluated and further improved in the context of existing curricula using case studies