Innovation in Learning Science

27 July 2011

How can innovative technologies help students learn about complex science like climate change? Join Professor Michael Jacobson, as he launches this Semester's "Seminar Series in the Sciences and technologies of Learning" with his presentation "Designs for Innovation in Learning Science: Virtual Worlds and Computational Models for Understanding the Complexity of Biological and Climate Systems"

Abstract: There have been recent calls of the increasing importance for students to learn about complex physical and social systems in order to understand new perspectives in the sciences of the 21st century. In this talk, I discuss pedagogical and technological issues in the development and use of innovative virtual and computational models for learning important scientific knowledge about biological and climate systems as part of design-based research funded by the Australian Research Council.

The current virtual world prototype and agent-based models will be demonstrated, followed by a discussion of research being conducted that involves "productive failure" versus "guided inquiry" learning activities with these learning technologies. Implications of this research for learning about biological and climate systems in secondary science classes will be considered, as will more general issues of designs for innovations in learning.

Michael J. Jacobson, PhD is a Professor and Chair of Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at The University of Sydney. He also is the Co-director of the Centre for Research on Computer-supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo), Deputy Director, Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, the Associate Dean for Information and Knowledge Technologies in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, and an Affiliate of the New England Complex Systems Institute. Previously, he was an Associate Professor in the Learning Sciences Laboratory at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the Senior Associate Director and an Associate Professor at the Korea University Center for Teaching and Learning in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Jacobson has also held faculty and research positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Vanderbilt University, and The University of Georgia, and he has been involved with organizational and international consulting activities. His research has focused on the design of learning technologies to foster deep conceptual understanding, conceptual change, and knowledge transfer in challenging conceptual domains. Most recently, his work has explored learning in agent-augmented multi-user virtual environments and with agent-based modeling and visualization tools, as well as cognitive and learning issues related to understanding new scientific perspectives emerging from the study of complex systems. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991.

This seminar is part of a Seminar Series on the Sciences and Technologies of Learning, brought to you by the Centre for Research on Computer Supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo).

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Time: 11am - Please join us for a cup of tea or coffee at 10:45am

Location: Rm 230, Education Bldg. (A35)

Cost: Free

Email: 00293256072141035f544d5f53351f485434

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