Special Issue "Interactive Simulations and Innovative Pedagogy for Conceptual Understanding in Science Education"
A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).
Interactive simulations—computer-based ‘virtual laboratories’ in which students can change variables and record results—are increasingly used in science classrooms with the goal of enhancing students’ understanding of key concepts of science. Many are produced by the PhET project at the University of Colorado (Adams, Paulson and Wieman, 2008; Wieman, Adams, Loeblein and Perkins, 2010; Wieman, Perkins and Adams, 2007), but a range of creators, both commercial providers and not-for-profit science educators, are developing and releasing interactive simulations for a wide range of science concepts.
At the same time, research into the effectiveness of computer-based technologies such as scientific visualisations (of which interactive simulations are a subset) has often shown no significant increase in learning gains (e.g., Geelan and Mukherjee, 2011) when teaching occurs using visualisations compared to teaching without visualisations. It is plausible to suggest that the results of this work are patchy over all at least partially because the focus has been on the ‘tool’—the computer-based visualisation or interactive simulation—rather than on the combination of the educational technology and appropriate pedagogies focused on conceptual change (Posner, Strike, Hewson and Gertzog, 1982). Research that considers pedagogical approaches (e.g. Goh et al., 2013; Zavala, Alarcón and Benegas, 2007) has the potential to inform teacher education and professional development and to better utilise the affordances of interactive simulations for learning.
Research into the effectiveness of interactive simulations, linked with innovative pedagogy, for the development of conceptual understanding shows some positive results (e.g., Fan, Geelan and Gillies, 2018; Trundle and Bell, 2010) and this Special Issue of the journal Education Sciences is devoted to collecting cutting-edge empirical research findings demonstrating the affordances of interactive simulations, linked with explicit attention to pedagogy, for learning.
I am delighted to invite you to submit a paper for the Special Issue, and to pass on the call to colleagues you know in the field who can make a significant original contribution to knowledge. If the Special Issue exceeds 10 papers it will be published in book form, and this is something I will work hard to achieve.
Assoc. Prof. David Geelan
Adams, W.K.; Paulson, A.; Wieman, C.E. (2008). What Levels of Guidance Promote Engaged Exploration with Interactive Simulations? In AIP Conference Proceedings; American Institute of Physics (AIP): College Park, MA, USA; Volume 1064, pp. 59–62.
Fan, X., Geelan, D. & Gillies, R. (2018). Evaluating a Novel Instructional Sequence for Conceptual Change in Physics Using Interactive Simulations. Education Sciences 8(1), 29; doi:10.3390/educsci8010029
Geelan, D., & Mukherjee, M. (2011, June). But does it work? Effectiveness of scientific visualisations in high school chemistry and physics instruction. In EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 2706-2715). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Goh, K.S.A.; Wee, L.K.; Yip, K.W.; Toh, P.Y.J.; Lye, S.Y. Addressing learning difficulties in Newtons 1st and 3rd Laws through problem based inquiry using Easy Java Simulation. In Proceedings of the NIE Redesigning Pedagogy Conference, Singapore, 3–5 June 2013.
Posner, G.J.; Strike, K.A.; Hewson, P.W.; Gertzog, W.A. (1982). Accommodation of a scientific conception: Toward a theory of conceptual change. Sci. Educ., 66, 211–227.
Trundle, K.C.; Bell, R.L. (2010). The use of a computer simulation to promote conceptual change: A quasi-experimental study. Comput. Educ., 54, 1078–1088.
Wieman, C.E.; Adams, W.K.; Loeblein, P.; Perkins, K.K. (2010). Teaching physics using PhET simulations. I 225–227.
Wieman, C.E.; Perkins, K.K.; Adams, W.K. Oersted Medal Lecture 2007: Interactive simulations for teaching physics: What works, what doesn’t, and why. Am. J. Phys. 2008, 76, 393–399.
Zavala, G.; Alarcón, H.; Benegas, J. (2007) Innovative training of in-service teachers for active learning: A short teacher development course based on Physics Education Research. J. Sci. Teach. Educ., 18, 559–572.
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Science education
- Educational technology
- Interactive simulations
- Conceptual understanding