From Middle School to Graduate School: Combining Conceptual and Simulation Modeling for Making Science Learning Easier

AbstractMILA-S is an interactive open learning environment for sci- entific modeling (Joyner, Goel, & Papin, 2014). It enables students to build conceptual models of ecological phenom- ena, evaluate them through simulation, and revise the models as needed. MILA-S automatically spawns simulations from the conceptual models, making modeling easier for the stu- dent. Earlier work had described the use of MILA-S in middle school. In this paper, we report an experiment on the use of MILA-S in two college-level classes. In one class, we found that almost half of the students showed improved understand- ing of scientific modeling; in the other class, about two thirds of the students showed enhanced understanding.

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