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Paper: Simple Sims for Complex Concepts
Volume: 531, ASP2020: Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement
Page: 289
Authors: Hedberg, J.
Abstract: Simplicity is golden. Every form of expression from the expository essay to the profound mathematical proof benefits from the removal of clutter. Computer simulations for teaching physics and astronomy (sims) are no exception. As the ease with which we can create these tools increases, so does the tendency to add more 'features'. This talk explores and promotes the idea that sims don't need to model the entire known universe with a dizzying array of sliders and settings, but rather should attempt to simplify and effortlessly convey a single concept or relation. We'll also look at the results from classroom projects where students, not the educators, built dynamic astronomy related sims. Such activities can be transformative experiences for learners, especially in online education formats, provided there are significant boundaries placed on the expectations as well as the goals.
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