* Title * Contents * Introduction * Place * System * Design * Using * Future * Bibliography
In recent years, educators have recognized that simulation environments offer rich learning possibilities. For most people, however, there are two kinds of simulations--those with transparent models that are trivial and those with opaque models that are interesting. The big question in research on simulations and learning is how to help people to add a third kind--simulations with models that start simple and transparent but that develop in complexity in step with the user's ability to understand them.
One strategy for creating such simulations is to have people build them. For people who find programming accessible, systems such as StarLogo have demonstrated that having students construct simulations is a viable strategy for creating simulations of the third kind.
MarketPlace, an Internet-accessible environment for the play and discussion of multiperson market simulation games, takes a different, albeit potentially synergistic approach. MarketPlace takes advantage of the presence of multiple humans to ease the representation of complex dynamical social situations. Much of the "model" is moved into the realm of human interaction and discussion. The complexity of the system that is being simulated increases in step with the sophistication of the participants.
This work was supported in part by NSF Grant # 9358519-RED and a grant from the LEGO Corporation.
Thesis Advisor: Mitchel Resnick, Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
Program in Media Arts and Sciences
Edward A. Parson
Assistant Professor of Public Policy
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University