Learning about complex systems

29 September 2010

How can technology help students better understand complex systems? Join us as IISME Deputy Director, Professor Michael Jacobson presents on "The ontologies of complexity and learning about complex systems"

Professor Jacobson will discuss a study of students learning core conceptual perspectives from recent scientific research on complexity using a hypermedia learning environment in which different types of scaffolding were provided. Three comparison groups used a hypermedia system with agent-based models and scaffolds for problem-based learning activities that varied in terms of the types of text based scaffolds that were provided related to a set of complex systems concepts. Research implications for a new ARC Linkage project focusing on learning about the scientific complexity of climate change are also discussed.

Michael Jacobson 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, and the Associate Dean for Information and Knowledge Technologies in the Faculty. 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. Dr. Jacobson has published extensively in areas related to the learning sciences and technology, including scientific papers, book chapters, and one book (second one under contract). He has given talks and invited addresses at national and international conferences and served as an educational and business consultant both in the United States and abroad. His research has been funded by groups such as the Singapore Ministry of Education, Korean Ministry of Information and Communication, and U.S. National Science Foundation. In addition, he is an Affiliate of the New England Complex Systems Institute and he served a member of the organizing committees for the International Conference on Complex Systems and the National Initiative on Complex Systems in K-16 Education. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991.

This seminar is one of a 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: 11:00-12:30 (10:45 for light refreshments)

Location: Rm 230, Education Bldg. A35, The University of Sydney

Cost: Free

Email: 012e48002f2b2a2d19371e46281431193945