Ken Hay is an Associate Professor at the University of Indiana Bloomington who conducts research in the area of emergent technology, cognition, learning and instruction. He develops new learning technologies (robotics, virtual reality, and web-based video) and uses a strong social-cultural theoretical base to explore, develop and research new ways to understand and learning that are enabled by these technologies. He work in science, mathematics education and teacher professional development.
Building a Wrong Model - Developing the Learning Affordances of 3D Environments
Even the most highly educated among us have and maintain
profound misconceptions of the world. For example, as highlighted in the
film A Private Universe (Schneps & Sadler, 1988), 21 of 23 Harvard
graduates described profound misconceptions about the cause of the seasons.
Studies conducted across age groups reveal that these misconceptions do
not fade or disappear as students grow older; in many cases, they strengthen,
become highly resilient to change and are unaffected by traditional instruction.
This is because they are not simply incorrect information that can be
replaced; rather they are rival models of the phenomenon that almost always
include some “true” elements and in some way “work.”
Traditional instruction is inadequate at confronting misconceptions because
it never requires learners to confront the implications of their thinking.
Understanding the implications of your thinking is a hallmark of learning
the deep structure of a domain. A particularly powerful way to understanding
your thinking is to “enact” your thinking through the construction
of a computational model which requires the integration of facts, concepts
and relationships of a phenomenon. Further, it requires you to reconcile
the resulting model to the facts of the phenomenon. This talk will present
software and research findings on a novel way of confronting misconceptions
through the learners’ construction of “wrong” 3d dynamic
models in the domain of astronomy. These “wrong” models are
not simply based on the lack on knowledge, but rather are models learners
have that contain “true” elements and on some level “work.”
The talk will present the issues of developing the architectural and social
affordances of a 3D environment that enable learners to create these types
of “wrong” models and their implication for learning. Further,
it will bridge the world of school-based inquiry-based learning activities
to the world of interactive computer games to explore how these insights
can inform game design for serious learning.