© 2016

Simulations as Scaffolds in Science Education


  • Provides a clear overview of the connections between three established fields of study Specifically targets science education

  • Addresses pedagogical considerations and provides explicit instructional recommendations


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Maggie Renken, Kathrin Otrel-Cass, Melanie Peffer, Isabelle Girault, Augusto Chiocarriello
    Pages 1-3
  3. Isabelle Girault, Melanie Peffer, Augusto Chiocarriello, Maggie Renken, Kathrin Otrel-Cass
    Pages 5-14
  4. Melanie Peffer, Maggie Renken, Isabelle Girault, Augusto Chiocarriello, Kathrin Otrel-Cass
    Pages 15-18
  5. Kathrin Otrel-Cass, Maggie Renken, Melanie Peffer, Isabelle Girault, Augusto Chiocarriello
    Pages 19-22
  6. Maggie Renken, Kathrin Otrel-Cass, Augusto Chiocarriello, Isabelle Girault, Melanie Peffer
    Pages 23-28
  7. Kathrin Otrel-Cass, Isabelle Girault, Maggie Renken, Augusto Chiocarriello, Melanie Peffer
    Pages 29-34
  8. Maggie Renken, Melanie Peffer, Kathrin Otrel-Cass, Isabelle Girault, Augusto Chiocarriello
    Pages E1-E3
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 35-39

About this book


This book outlines key issues for addressing the grand challenges posed to educators, developers, and researchers interested in the intersection of simulations and science education. To achieve this, the authors explore the use of computer simulations as instructional scaffolds that provide strategies and support when students are faced with the need to acquire new skills or knowledge. The monograph aims to provide insight into what research has reported on navigating the complex process of inquiry- and problem-based science education and whether computer simulations as instructional scaffolds support specific aims of such pedagogical approaches for students.


computer simulations computer simulations and learning computers and learning computers and the classroom inquiry-based science education scaffolding via computer simulations

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Georgia State UniversityATLANTAUSA
  2. 2.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Dep of Learning and PhilosophyAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  4. 4.Grenoble Alpes UniversityGrenobleFrance
  5. 5.Italian National Research CouncilInstitute of Educational TechnologyGenovaItaly

About the authors

Maggie Renken is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Psychology program at Georgia State University. Broadly, her research focuses on scientific thinking and the acquisition of science knowledge. Her work has considered how adolescents and young adults learn and alter inaccurate prior beliefs through various media, including computer simulations, text, and hands-on experimentation. This research is intended to inform approaches for assessing and improving reasoning and thinking skills. Melanie Peffer has a PhD in molecular biology and is a postdoctoral associate in the Educational Psychology department at Georgia State University. Melanie’s research program integrates her training in molecular biology and the learning sciences to create a synergistic program of study. Her work examines student learning during authentic inquiry. Kathrin Otrel-Cass is an Associate Professor in Science Education. She leads the techno-anthropology video lab and is the co-leader of the techno-anthropology research group. Kathrin is interested in ICT and its role in mediating learning and practices in science and technology and in science education. Kathrin also is interested in culturally responsive pedagogy and the nature of interactions in science and technology. Kathrin is an experienced classroom-based researcher and has published on assessment for learning, culture in science education and classroom-based research methods. She has lived and researched internationally in Austria and New Zealand before coming to Denmark. Isabelle Girault is an Associate Professor at the University of Grenoble-Alpes (France). Her research concerns Chemistry Education and learning sciences through a scientific inquiry process with the use of ICT. This research focuses on how a computer environment can scaffold the activity of experimental design and more precisely the elaboration of protocols by students through automatic feedbacks. Augusto Chiocarriello is a Researcher at the Italian National Research Council’s Institute for Educational Technology. He obtained his Physics degree (magna cum laude) in 1980 at the University of Naples. From 1982 to 1986, he worked in physics education at the Educational Technology Center, UC Irvine, initially as a National Research Council research fellow and subsequently as project manager. In 1986, he joined the Institute for Educational Technology as a researcher and he worked on exploiting multimedia technology in design and development of learning systems in several EC DELTA projects. Since 1995, he has collaborated with Reggio Emilia infant schools, exploring the use of computational construction kits as learning tools for early childhood education. More recently, he has coordinated the Institute’s participation in the IST-WebLabs project.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Simulations as Scaffolds in Science Education
  • Authors Maggie Renken
    Melanie Peffer
    Kathrin Otrel-Cass
    Isabelle Girault
    Augusto Chiocarriello
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Educational Communications and Technology
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs in Educat. Communicat., Technology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information AECT 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-24613-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-24615-4
  • Series ISSN 2196-498X
  • Series E-ISSN 2196-4998
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VIII, 39
  • Number of Illustrations 55 b/w illustrations, 107 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Educational Technology
    Learning & Instruction
    Science Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site