Abstract for:Delay gratification – about the pleasure to recognize delay structures in behavior graphs

This paper reports from research in system dynamics education - specifically with learning about material delays. This is related to a subset of learning outcomes in the System Dynamics Competence Framework, and the learning activities reported here have been defined according to that framework. The aim of the specific way to design these learning activities is to overcome a problem observed in previous learning activities inspired by the ‘canonical process’ of teaching system dynamics, which focuses on learning by exploring standard formulations. The first reported here had the objective to have students learn to recognize the type of material delay (and its order) beneath a behavior-over-time graph. The activities start by observing a process, generating behavior graphs, detecting patterns developing heuristic rules using them. Then a simulator helps exploring the structure of delays, exploring their behavior under different inputs and predicting their behaviors. A final quiz shows behaviors, asking to indicate the type and order of delay. Initial explorations with undergraduate students was encouraging: 61% of them answered 80% or more of the questions correctly and less than 20% were below 50% of correct answers. The paper analyzes these data, identifies its limitations and lines our future research.