Alexander Meets Michotte: A Simulation Tool Based on Pattern Programming and Phenomenology
Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 19, Number 1, ISSN 1176-3647 e-ISSN 1176-3647
Simulation and modeling activities, a key point of computational thinking, are currently not being integrated into the science classroom. This paper describes a new visual programming tool entitled the Simulation Creation Toolkit. The Simulation Creation Toolkit is a high level pattern-based phenomenological approach to bringing rapid simulation creation into the classroom environment. Students create agent-based simulations via analogy between the real world phenomena they are trying to represent and "interacticons," which are visual animations of generic agents enacting the phenomena. This approach obviates the need for students to implement low level and often time-consuming agent behavior programming and yet, requires the use of abstraction, which is a key component of computational thinking. Initial data shows that students in the classroom can implement simulations faster using the Simulation Creation Toolkit as compared to the end-user programming level and begins to show that students can use the Simulation Creation Toolkit to create simulations through analogical reasoning. In this sense, Simulation Creation toolkit provides an initial data point into the integration of Computational Thinking activities through simulation construction in the classroom environment.
Basawapatna, A. (2016). Alexander Meets Michotte: A Simulation Tool Based on Pattern Programming and Phenomenology. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 19(1), 277-291.