Abstract for:Framework for Designing an Online Interactive Learning Environment for Complex Dynamic Systems

This paper presents the framework underlying the design of an online interactive learning environment for complex dynamic systems, including the rationale for the design and its research underpinnings. The design framework is discussed in detail, as are the three key domain elements of importance for the design: a fading scaffolding instructional method adopted in the design, storytelling, repeated trial, intensive feedback & item branching instructional techniques used to implement the chosen method, and a web based instructional tool developed to integrate the chosen method and techniques.

The general structure of the learning environment, its online delivery and its assessment strategies are described, including the user interface and feedback formats employed. The distributions of tasks and items by problem nature and context, and according to cognitive process are specified. Sample learning tasks and items are presented with commentary, including an illustration of how studentsí log on data (captured by the online-delivery system) could be used to evaluate their understanding of complex dynamics systems.