Component-Based Construction of a Science Learning Space

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1452)


We present a vision for learning environments, called Science Learning Spaces, that are rich in engaging content and activities, provide constructive experiences in scientific process skills, and are as instructionally effective as a personal tutor. A Science Learning Space combines three independent software systems: 1) lab/field simulations in which experiments are run and data is collected, 2) modeling/construction tools in which data representations are created, analyzed and presented, and 3) tutor agents that provide just-in-time assistance in higher order skills like experimental strategy, representational tool choice, conjecturing, and argument. We believe that achieving this ambitious vision will require collaborative efforts facilitated by a component-based software architecture. We have created a feasibility demonstration that serves as an example and a call for further work toward achieving this vision. In our demonstration, we combined 1) the Active Illustrations lab simulation environment, 2) the Belvedere argumentation environment, and 3) a modeltracing Experimentation Tutor Agent. We illustrate student interaction in this Learning Space and discuss the requirements, advantages, and challenges in creating one.


Semantic Interoperability Computer Support Collaborative Learn Scientific Process Skill Simulation Interface Representational Tool 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Information and Computer SciencesUniversity of HawaiiUSA
  3. 3.Institute for the Learning SciencesNorthwestern UniversityUSA

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