Next Article in Journal
Simulating Transport and Land Use Interdependencies for Strategic Urban Planning—An Agent Based Modelling Approach
Next Article in Special Issue
Approaches to Learning to Control Dynamic Uncertainty
Previous Article in Journal
A Management Framework for Municipal Solid Waste Systems and Its Application to Food Waste Prevention
Previous Article in Special Issue
Introduction to the Special Issue “Dynamic Decision-Making in Controlled Experiments”
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Systems 2015, 3(4), 152-176; doi:10.3390/systems3040152

Effects of Structural Transparency in System Dynamics Simulators on Performance and Understanding

1
System Dynamics Group, Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Postbox 7800, Bergen 5020, Norway
2
College of Education, University of Iowa, 370 Lindquist Center, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andreas Größler and Hendrik Stouten
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 23 September 2015 / Accepted: 24 September 2015 / Published: 1 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic Decision Making in Controlled Experiments)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [953 KB, uploaded 1 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

Prior exploration is an instructional strategy that has improved performance and understanding in system-dynamics-based simulators, but only to a limited degree. This study investigates whether model transparency, that is, showing users the internal structure of models, can extend the prior exploration strategy and improve learning even more. In an experimental study, participants in a web-based simulation learned about and managed a small developing nation. All participants were provided the prior exploration strategy but only half received prior exploration embedded in a structure-behavior diagram intended to make the underlying model’s structure more transparent. Participants provided with the more transparent strategy demonstrated better understanding of the underlying model. Their performance, however, was the equivalent to those in the less transparent condition. Combined with previous studies, our results suggest that while prior exploration is a beneficial strategy for both performance and understanding, making the model structure transparent with structure-behavior diagrams is more limited in its effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: dynamic decision making; instructional overlays; interactive learning environment; model transparency; performance; simulation gaming; system dynamics; transfer of learning; understanding dynamic decision making; instructional overlays; interactive learning environment; model transparency; performance; simulation gaming; system dynamics; transfer of learning; understanding
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Kopainsky, B.; Alessi, S.M. Effects of Structural Transparency in System Dynamics Simulators on Performance and Understanding. Systems 2015, 3, 152-176.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Systems EISSN 2079-8954 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top