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Learner-centered software design (LCSD) guides the design of tasks, tools, and interfaces in order to support the unique needs of learners: growth, diversity and motivation. This paper presents a framework for LCSD and describes a case study of its application to the ScienceWare Model-It, a learner-centered tool to support scientific modeling and simulation. The complex task of constructing and testing models helps scientists develop their understanding of natural systems. With Model-It, students use learner-centered modeling tools to easily construct, verify, and analyze qualitative models, using a dynamic and photo-realistic interface. Findings suggest that high school students who know nothing about computer modeling can quickly build and test simple models, and that various components of the software design intentionally support the task of modeling by meeting specific learner needs. (Contains 11 references.) (Author/YDS)

Descriptors: Computer Simulation, Computer Software Development, Computer Uses in Education, Educational Technology, High Schools, Instructional Design, Instructional Materials, Models, Multimedia Materials, Science Education, Scientific Methodology

Autor: Jackson, Shari L.; Stratford, Steven J.; Krajcik, Joseph S.; Soloway, Elliot


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