Using expert heuristics for the design of imagery-rich mental simulations for the science class
Stephens, A. Lynn
Clement, John J.
Nunez Oviedo, Maria C.

Proceedings of the 2006 Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), San Francisco, CA.

One of us (Clement, 2006, this volume) has derived a list of strategies from expert protocols for designing and improving central test cases and analogies using imagery; we ask whether these strategies might apply to the analogies and simulations for which we see evidence in science classrooms. The breadth of applicability of the list was investigated by examining transcripts from three classroom-activity and tutoring sessions where such cases are being described by either an educator or a student. Evidence is presented that analogies and test cases described by these teachers and students share many of the design characteristics of expert analogies and test cases. There were multiple indicators providing evidence that students were able to reason about their conceptions with the imagery from the cases; to modify and evaluate teacher cases; to modify and evaluate cases generated by other students; and to generate enhancements to the imagistic qualities of cases. We believe that this list of heuristic strategies can be honed into a list of principles teachers can use when designing analogies and simulations for their science students.

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