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Essay stella


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Essay stella

  2. 2. SIMULATION AND MODELING IN TEACHING AND LEARNINGIntroduction In teaching and learning, there are important for a teacher or instructor to have goodteaching skill and various methods to use in class. If they can stimulate the students, they willhave a better chance at keeping them interested in learning more. But being creative offers morebenefits than just holding a students attention. If teachers are able to present material in manydifferent ways, then, the students have a better chance of understanding it. Being a creativeteacher encourages students to be creative learners too. It is not really difficult to be creative inthis Information Age. The use of technology can helps a lot. Modeling and simulations are twoclosely related computer applications which play a major role in science and engineering today.They have become part and parcel of advanced learning environments, performance technologiesand knowledge management systems. These application help scientists and engineers to reducethe cost and time consumption for research. They are also very useful in education field. They help ordinary people to understand and be trained for something easily. For example,at school, its provides students with the opportunity to explore the implications of usingsimulations for teaching and learning, and in so doing to deepen their understanding of the rolethat simulation can play in education and training. These explore different theoretical approachesto learning and teaching most relevant to simulation-based education, and examine theirpedagogical implications in the instance of simulation use. It also considers important theoreticaldebates around simulation in educational settings, including the transfer of knowledge fromsimulated to real settings; provides the opportunity to examine how simulation technologies aredesigned; and examines the different methodologies for evaluating their effectiveness.Differences between simulation and modeling The terms simulation and modeling are often used widely and synonymously. However,there is difference between them. Modeling is creating a ‘model’ which represents an object orsystem with its all or subset of properties. A model may be exactly the same as the originalsystem or sometimes approximations make it deviates from the real system. As an example, acomputer model of a ship may provide the 3D visualization of the ship so that user can rotate and
  3. 3. zoom to get a clear idea of the dimensions of the ship. A mathematical model is somethingdifferent from a 3D model. A mathematical model describes a system with equations. Modelingcan reduce the cost of a process and make the progress faster. As an example when you need tobuild a ship you can create few models of it and find the best solution. This is not possible inabsence of modelling because you cannot build several ships and select one in reality. Thereforepresent designers are able to optimize their design. Simulation is a technique of studying and analyzing the behavior of a real world or animaginary system by mimicking it on a computer application. A simulation is works on amathematical model that describes the system. In a simulation, one or more variable of themathematical model is changed and resulted changes in other variables are observed.Simulations enable users to predict the behavior of the real world system. As an example,behavior of a ship can be simulated using a mathematical model describes the governing laws ofphysics (fluid statistics and dynamics). Users can change the variable such as speed, weight andobserve the stability of the ship. Simulations are also used to train people for some specificactivities and react to unexpected situations. Car and flight simulators training drivers and pilotsare examples of such simulations. Simulations help designers to optimize their systems by doingnecessary changes and obtain good results. They can try deferent designs while changingproperties in virtual environment so that money and time can be saved. Users can run simulationsslower or faster than the real world and that may helps to figure out more details. In simple, we can say that a model always tries to represent the actual system, but asimulation may try to observe the results by doing impossible in real world changes. Themodeling also can be considered as a static and a simulation can be considered as dynamic as thevariables of a simulation get always changed. To use these application, teachers should knowwhy and when to use modeling and simulation. Both applications have been recognized as animportant tool in schools. Teacher can used it as one of their methods to deliver knowledge tostudents. Modeling will exposed students more about what they are learning in class. As anexample, to study volcano, teacher cannot bring students to the real place where volcano happenbut with the creative mind of that teacher, he can build a model of volcano and use simulationtechnique to show the volcano event. Besides, teacher also can use the software application fromthe internet like STELLA.
  4. 4. STELLA STELLA is a flexible computer modeling package with an easy, intuitive interface thatallows users to construct dynamic models that realistically simulate biological systems. Giventhe combination of ease of use and modeling power, the STELLA system is ideal to interfacewith student investigative experiences. In its most basic form, modeling in STELLA proceedsin three steps constructing a qualitative model, parameterizing it, and exploring the modelsdynamics. A construction of qualitative model means a modeler will first define stocks whichlike anything that can accumulate or change in number to build the model. Then, the studentsquantify the relationship among elements in their model. STELLA allows both linear and non-linear relationships to be expressed. Students must apply their understanding of biologicalproblem to assist in this process. The last step of the modeling exercise is to explore the modeloutput. Here, student can manipulate the parameters and observe the changes shown in the graph. As an example, I used simulation on title Simple Natural Selection in STELLA. In thismodel, foxes prey on rabbits. Foxes catch the slower rabbits, which favors an evolution over timetoward faster rabbits. This event is termed as natural selection. Natural selection is the gradual,non-random process by which biological traits become either more or less common ina population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanismof evolution. The term natural selection was popularized by Charles Darwin who intended it tobe compared with artificial selection, what we now call selective breeding. Natural selection isactually the process by which species adapt to their environment. Natural selection leads toevolutionary change when individuals with certain characteristic have a greater survival orreproductive rate than other individuals in a population and pass on these inheritable geneticcharacteristic to their offspring. Based on Darwins, the process of natural selections has several components. There isvariation in traits. Organisms exhibit individual variation in appearance and behavior. Thisvariation may involve body size, hair color and also number of offspring. Since the environmentcannot support unlimited population growth, not all individuals get to reproduce to their fullpotential.
  5. 5. The graph shows the relationship between average speeds of rabbit and rabbit populationby year.Figure 1: Speed bias is 0.Figure 2: Speed bias is 5.
  6. 6. Figure 3: Speed bias is 25.Figure 4: Reading bias is 40.
  7. 7. In this sample, the graph obtained shows the relationship between average speeds of rabbit andrabbit population by year. Rabbit population by year depends on their average speed used to helpthem run from fox. The slower rabbit tend to be catch by foxes and survive to reproduce lessoften than faster rabbit. The rabbit evolve with time becoming faster rabbit in a way to escapedfrom fox. The faster surviving rabbit reproduced to have faster baby rabbit due to heredity. Thetrait has a genetic basis. This model shows that different speed bias obtained the different graph. The rabbitpopulations are influenced by the values of speed bias. This can be done by manipulate theparameter (average speed). This simulation helps a lot in teaching students on topic naturalselection. As refer to figure 1, when the speed bias is zero, the numbers of rabbit population byyear also remain constant as the bias ‘kicks in’ year 5. This is due to the relationship of prey(rabbit) and predator (fox). The rabbit need the speed to escape themselves from fox. The zerospeed bias means fox can catch them. That is the reason why the graphs do not show anychanges in their pattern. In the earlier, before the teacher run the experiment, teacher can asktheir students to predict what type of graph line will be produced. Some students may give theright answer, but some of them may have no idea about the graph pattern. Here, teachers shouldtake roles to guide students get used to simulation. Teacher can start to change the speed bias. Rabbit population start to increase in year six in the speed bias 5 in figure 2. This showsthat the increase in average speed has increased the rabbit population. The faster movement ofrabbit helps them a lot to avoid being eaten by fox. By years, the rabbit populations increasebecause they can survive from fox. As we can see in figure 3, the rabbit populations rapidlyincrease when the speed bias is adjusted to 25. The different of graph pattern produced are huge.Rabbit happen to evolve from time to time to become faster rabbit. This is obvious especially inspeed bias 40 in figure 4. The graph produced also shows the big increase of rabbit population.This proves that animals evolve to have advanced characteristic in their life. The naturalselection only chooses the best rabbit to stay alive. The chosen rabbit then reproduce with thisadvanced characteristic. This characteristic then is passed to the offspring. Then, the number offaster rabbit increase.
  8. 8. Simulation stimulates student motivation As we can see above, the simulation exposed the students to a practical way of learning.They can create experience, see and observe the situation by themselves. In normal experiment,they just conduct the experiment, try to achieve the objective of experiment, follow theprocedure and get the results. They need to follow the rule of experiment in order to get accurateresults. If not, maybe they would not obtain any results. If this happens, the student may becomedisappointed. They did not enjoy doing the experiment and starts to keep in mind that experimentwas burden. But, with simulation model, students surely can get the results. They know this. Thiswill stimulates them to have deep interest in what they are doing. They become motivated toconduct the experiment and explore more about the experiment. Furthermore, in simulationmodel, they run the simulation and straightly obtain the result. And the interesting part is theycan changed the parameter and see what happens to their result. This make them happy and feelexcited to explore more and more with the model simulation. I myself become excited whenexploring this stella software. Besides, not all students like the formal things. Usually, only students from good classhave interest to conduct the experiments. Whereas most of them, especially students with lowgrade did not have any interest in study. Most of them easily get boring when need to do thingslike experiments. So, teacher must be creative to face this type of students. Before teachers cancreate simulations to benefit learning, there needs to be an understanding of what makes thesesimulations so motivating to students. To successfully implement a simulation model in theclassroom, teachers need to carefully consider several key factors. One such factor is play, whichis one of the most important motivators (Oech, 1990). Teachers often underestimate the powerfuleffect fun has upon the learning environment. Teachers should change their style of teaching andmake the simulation like a game. This surely will attract student attention. As an example,teacher can used this natural selection model as foster exploration game in which students livethrough the world like fox and rabbit live. In this case, they feel more excited to explore thesimulation. Researchers who studied educational games and simulations to determine how they caneffectively support learning agree game motivates students in learning. This Research in Briefarticle provides an overview of this research, emphasizing how computer games and simulations
  9. 9. can best be used to support learning, citing research done with students with disabilities whereavailable. Furthermore, students need to be challenge to gain their interest and motivation to study.As is any learning situation, students are usually more engage when they face a challenge thatthey feel they can meet. The level of challenge should match the student’s skill level. If the taskis too hard, the students will give up easily, and if it too easy, the student may become bored. Inthis case, teacher can create and provides students with simulation that challenge their skill. Thestudents will get motivated to solve the task given. The teacher can ask students to assume a roleconsistent with that task problem. With the aid of digital video footage or other graphic elements,students can, via the computer, experience the situation like in real. As students click on variousobjects on the screen browser, information for each item pops up. Students learn valuableinformation from the database in their virtual visit. Continuing the journey, students encounter aproblem. Here, they must make the correct choices based on information gained during thesimulation. This type of learning are more exciting than the normal learning. Hopefully studentswill always be motivated to study with the help of teacher by using simulation.Prediction from simulation Students can reflect on and explain what is happening, and predict what can happen in thefuture through simulations learning. A good simulation was constructed from problems thatarise. When there is problem to be solved, simulation make students to be active. They have toselect parameter values, choose what to be tested, and collecting data. Data collection is usuallydone carefully to obtain accurate study results. This teaches the students to be earnest inperforming a task. Furthermore, the data collected is needed to relate the problems and causes ofsuch problems occur. This is important to maintain the quality of a research. Once studentssuccessfully collect data and study the problem in detail, the next action is the analysis of data.Data analysis will be done to find out the characteristics, causes and why the problem occurred.With the data, we will be able to reduce the effects and damage arising from the problem. Thiscan be done through the prediction of what will happen in the future based on the data collected. An example like the prediction of natural disaster, after we acknowledge it, we are able toact and take the necessary steps to deal with the problem. The ability to predict what will happen
  10. 10. benefit us a lot. From the data simulation, we also know the causes of the problem. Therefore,we can strive to overcome the causes of the problem. Like everybody said, prevention is betterthan cure. Early prevention is expected to reduce the impact of the problem. If we are lucky, wedid not only reduce the effects of the problem, but we managed to prevent the problem fromoccurring in the future. This is necessarily the best for all. This can be proud of and prove thatsimulation is part of the technological advances that actually help us in life. We should begrateful and thankful with what we have. And therefore, appreciate and care for ourenvironment.Advantages of simulation in teaching and learning Hundreds of research projects have studied the effects of computers in the classroom.Some researchers, like Cohen (1981), have concluded that computers are effective. Others, likeClark (1975), believe there are serious flaws in many of these studies. Much of the discussionabout educational technology revolves around the integration of educational software andsimulations in the academic curriculum (Turkle, 1997). According to the researchers, theybelieve simulations have the ability to expand upon role playing, as well as incorporate a varietyof other learning features, including peer collaboration or competition, fun, inquiry basedlearning, goal oriented activities, and real life applications (Schank, 1997; Gardner, 2000). Thisshows that simulation bring advantage in teaching and learning. They have engage the studentswith active learning. One of the advantages in using simulation for teaching and learning is less timeconsuming. The time used to prepare apparatus in the conventional way of conductingexperiment can be use in observing and discussing the result obtained when data logger are used.The result can be obtains instantly from the simulation model and graph are be plotted while theexperiment is still in the progress. Thus, student can spend time on figure out how theexperiment works rather than just focusing on data collecting. Simulation also increases theaccuracy of the result. They can record down the result in a much faster and frequent way. Thiswill increase the accuracy and precision of the experiment conducted. Other than that, better learning outcome can be obtained. This is because the students havemore time to interpret the data. The plotting of data occur simultaneously with the on- going
  11. 11. experiment allows the student to link the data obtained with the observation. The student candevoted more time on understanding the experiment and discuss among friends on the outcomeof the experiment. This leads the students to think critically. Thus, a better learning outcome isachieved through the conductive environment. The students also can make their own analysisand be able to predict what will happen in the future based on the data collected. Besides, the simulation is an activity from a real situation, and so it can be said that they are"virtually real". They simulate the activity so well that there is only a little difference betweenthe simulated environment and the real one, and the same kind of learning experience can takeplace. They are hands-on activity which involves students so they become participants, not merelisteners or observers. Students learn better from their own experiences than having othersexperiences related to them. In simulation also, we can remove the element of danger from thesituation and have chance to learn or explore what are not present in our place. For example, thesimulation about volcano, we still can see the explosion safely even though we are not in thatarea. So, the incident did not bring any bad impact to us. Furthermore, simulations can be paused, whereas real life cannot. Pausing allows more timefor students to assess what is going on. Simulations take into account the studentsdevelopmental level. Some students need extra time to understand something. Theirinvolvement in the activity increase when extra time was given for them to explore thesimulation. Here, they will be empowering by the simulation because students take onresponsible roles, find ways to succeed, and develop problem solving tools as a result of theinteraction. What student gain from the simulation are the main objectives of learning, so thesimulations are well designed to encourage students to enhance the activity by contributing theirown ideas.
  12. 12. Disadvantages of simulation in teaching and learning However, there are several disadvantage of using simulation in teaching and learning. Someproblems may occur in integrating simulation in teaching and learning. There are people whetherstudents or teacher himself who do not like to work on computer system as they think that theuses of computer and simulation are complicated. Not all students are exposed to the use ofadvanced technology. There are students who do not have computer at home. This type ofstudent usually has low confidents in using technology. They afraid to try because they keep inmind that they maybe make damaged with the tools. Some of them may feel that, that was reallydifficult. They need more time to learn thing from simulations. The difficulties they face maymake them become not interested to study. This becomes worse when teachers themselves do nothave interest to use simulation in teaching. How can the teacher gain their students interest when they also have no interest in usingsimulation for educations? It is a major problem in implementing simulation for educationpurpose. Teachers also may have lack of skill regarding the simulation technology. It is aproblem when teacher cannot use the simulation tools properly. The teacher does not know howto use the program. The difficulties of teachers in handling the devices affect student interest tolearn the topic. Thus, teacher must competent in handling all tools to improve the learningprocess so the students can get benefits from that. In addition, students may reduce the graphing skills practice and face the loss ofconventional methods of data collection when using simulations. The simulation may replace thepractical laboratory. They might just waited for the simulation and computer to produce thegraph and table and forgotten the method to collect data and draw the graph. In fact, it isunnecessary that every experiment has to use simulations. The simulation is used when theexperiment needs a more accurate results and a long period of time for the students to get theresults. Moreover, since the simulation need current or battery to function, it’s inconvenient ifthe experiment is carried out on outdoor especially in the area that without electrical supply.Sometimes the simulation also may not functioning very well because of technical problem, thusthere are tendency we cannot obtain the accurate results in a time..
  13. 13. Conclusions The use of simulation in teaching and learning has pro and contras. In my opinion, I agreesimulation can helps in education fields. Howard Gardner, the American developmentalpsychologist has come out with his theory of multiple intelligence. His theory state that not onlydo human beings have several different ways of learning and processing information, but thesemethods are relatively independent of one another. This shows that every person like studentshas their own characteristic and different style of thinking and learning. They cannot stick withone type of learning only because they are different. Not all students can accept the traditionalapproach of learning. If teacher were focuses on the same way of learning, they may loss theirinterest to study. This can be endures with application of simulation in education. Simulationhave advanced technology that provide teacher various model to be used in teaching. There arealso different kinds of simulation. It just need teacher to be creative and explore this facility anduse it wisely to give the best for students. Despite of having some disadvantages, we can take several steps to bear with that. Forexample, the issues that teacher themselves have lack skill in using technology, The Ministry ofEducation can provide the intensive exercise on how to use the technology to teachers. So thatthey can apply it in teaching and learning process. Students also must be exposed to thesimulation technology to make them realize that the significant of ICT in technology.
  14. 14. ReferenceSimulations Engage Students In Active Learning. Retrieved at on November 28,2012Difference Between Modelling and Simulation. Retrieved at on November 28,2012Teaching with Simulation. Retrieved at on November 28,2012Simulation. Retrieved at on November 28,2012Use Simulations To Help Students Learn. Retrieved at on November 28,2012Richard Stafford1, Anne E. Goodenough1, Mark S. Davies2. (2009) Assessing the effectiveness of a computer simulation for teaching ecological experimental design. Retrieves at on November 28, 2012Dr. M.k. Akinsola, The effect of simulation-games environment on students Achievement in and attitudes to mathematics in secondary Schools. Use of Simulations in the Classroom. Retrieved at 01EffectiveUseOfSims.pdf on November 29,2012Learning with Computer Games and Simulations. Retrieved at on November 29,2012