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Spatial Learning and Computer Simulations in Science


International Journal of Science Education Volume 31, Number 3, ISSN 0950-0693


Interactive simulations are entering mainstream science education. Their effects on cognition and learning are often framed by the legacy of information processing, which emphasized amodal problem solving and conceptual organization. In contrast, this paper reviews simulations from the vantage of research on perception and spatial learning, because most simulations take a spatial format and the pedagogical intent is to promote learning. Four learning effects help clarify the positive and negative aspects of current simulation designs: picture superiority, noticing, structuring, and tuning. (Contains 4 figures.)


Lindgren, R. & Schwartz, D.L. (2009). Spatial Learning and Computer Simulations in Science. International Journal of Science Education, 31(3), 419-438. Retrieved September 21, 2019 from .

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