Problem solving skills in complex dynamic system context: Effect of online interactive learning environments
Numerous studies document that students struggle to comprehend complex, dynamic systems (CDS). Following a design-based research framework, this work presents results obtained from using an online interactive learning environment (OILE). The OILE was used to scaffold and measure the progressive development of students’ skills in solving complex, dynamic problems. The presentation discusses the nature of CDS, the challenges associated with understanding such systems, and, accordingly, how the OILE may support learning in and about CDS. The findings show that, when scaffolded, students made a statistically significant improvement in their problem solving compared to those who were not scaffolded. Sample results from students’ progress logs demonstrate that the students’ performance improved significantly across time over subsequent tasks. In light of supportive evidence from the empirical results and the students´ progress logs, our work concludes that the use of OILEs to support learning in and about CDS is promising.
Aklilu Tadesse is a PhD student at the System Dynamics Group, Department of Geography, University of Bergen. His PhD focuses on the design, development and implementation of online interactive learning environments to support learning in and about complex dynamic systems. As part of his PhD work, he designed a framework for personalized and adaptive online interactive learning environment and implemented it to support System Dynamics master program students’ teaching/learning at the University of Bergen. One of his recent PhD work was recipient of an Honorable mention in the Dana Meadows prize award of the 2019 International System Dynamics Conference held in Albuquerque, NM, USA. Aklilu earned MPhil in System Dynamics from University of Bergen, Norway and MEd in Physics from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.