Sunday, January 16, 2011

A private simulation repository for your physics class

SimInsights provides a functionality that many teachers will find very useful: You can create a private repository for the students of your class. Only those who have the "class-codes" (defined below) will be able to access this repository. Here is how it works:
  1. Teacher emails to request a class code
  2. SimInsights emails a class code to the requesting teacher
  3. Teacher emails code to all students in class
  4. Upon receiving class code from teacher, student 1 adds the class code to access the repository
  5. Student 1 builds a model and publishes it to the class repository using the class code 
  6. Other students begin to comment on student 1's model
  7. This happens for all students in the class, due to which the class repository starts filling up with models and comments on them
  8. After the due date, teacher begins review of the completed assignments and comments using the 'summary view'
This process was used for the assignment at Fremont High School. The private repository provides a safe-place for the entire class to engage in collaborative simulation based learning. Collaboration allows each student to experience multiple perspectives which helps build meta-cognitive skills. Meta-cognitive skills in turn help develop adaptive-expertise, which is vital for success in a fast changing world.

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