MODEL FACILITATED APPROACH:

The use of modeling and interactive simulations to represent complex subject matter is increasing due to the emergence of powerful new technologies. A promising methodology with an associated technology is system dynamics. System Dynamics is particularly well suited to provide the basis for meaningful learning experiences that involve learners in reasoning about relationships between the structure and the dynamics of such complex systems. The technology that supports system dynamics is web accessible and suitable for collaborative networked learning. Supportable experiences include the construction of interactive and web-accessible models as well as their use for hypothesis testing and experimentation. In this chapter, we develop a theoretically founded instructional design framework for the use of this technology. Key aspects of this framework include the use of modeling tools, construction kits and system dynamics simulations to provide multiple representations to help students develop an understanding of problem scenarios that are complex and dynamic. We distinguish learning by modeling from learning using models and indicate the circumstances when each approach is likely to be appropriate.