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Type: Conference paper
Title: The virtual classroom simulation: Pre-service teacher training with ABMS
Author: Skrodal, S.
Alagumalai, S.
Lawson, M.
Citation: SimTecT 2007 Simulation Conference: Simulation - Improving Capability and Competitiveness, 4-7 June, 2007 :1-6
Publisher: SIAA
Publisher Place: www
Issue Date: 2007
Conference Name: SimTecT 2007 (2007 : Brisbane, QLD, Australia)
Editor: Jawahar Bhalla,
Abstract: The Virtual Classroom Simulation (VCS) transcends the fields of Education, Psychology and Computer Science. This trans-disciplinary project aims to construct an interactive training tool for pre-service teachers, using concepts from Agent based modelling and simulation (ABMS). In brief, the VCS allows the user (the pre-service teacher) to interact with "simulated" students in a delimited isolated classroom context. By combining aspects of teacher performance, task characteristics and the classroom environment, we aim to monitor how this might influence individual student state and behaviour, as well as how it may correspond to teaching in the real world. Benefits to the user include a more thorough understanding of the pedagogy of teaching and a potential change in their current mental models of teaching. As the tool is likely to trigger discussion amongst users, it also aids in the preparation of pre-service teaching practice. The validity of a simulation rests and falls on its underlying theoretical precision and methodology. The system to be simulated must be broken down (deconstructed) into logical fragments of fine granularity that can be reassembled (reconstructed) in the simulation. In this reconstruction stage, one must analyse the problem to be solved and determine what the critical elements of the system are, and filter out those that are not fundamental to the problem solving. This paper examines the VCS from the developer's perspective, whose task is to translate the educational theory into a mathematical model for the programmer. The process of defining and identifying agents, filtering their restricted set of performance attributes, and how these are influenced by the surrounding context/environment will be discussed. As the VCS is involved with the modelling and simulation of human behaviour and heterogeneous decision making, we will also address, if not stress, the importance of agent delimitation. The paper proposes a conceptual architecture for modelling and simulation of human interactions.
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