'Study of the learning characteristics of a distributed and persistent simulation of statistical phenomena'. Laboratorium project, MeTAH group (methods and technologies for human learning) Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble (LIG), University of Grenoble - France.
Laboratorium project summary:
currently building an environment for immersive learning experiences on
multimodal simulations. It will be used (i) by medical students to solve
problems and by doing so acquire skills (in the field of statistics and within
the context of epidemiology), and (ii) by researchers to assess the conditions
for learning within the environment.
challenge of the "Laboratorium of epidemiology" project is to design scenarios
allowing implementing learning situations without the boundaries of the screen.
The environment design, inspired by the embedded phenomena framework of T.
Moher, combines gaming situation and ambient technologies, and is characterized
- Immersive learning experience. Students
experience randomness by immersion into a phenomenon (occurrence of a
nosocomial disease at the hospital).
- Persistent simulation. The simulation
evolves and is accessible continuously over an extended period of time: an
otherwise inaccessible professional situation (interviewing patients in a
- Distributed simulation. Rather than
centralizing information access on the same media, information on the state of
the simulation is available through different media (laptops, phones, DVD
- Personalization. Students collectively
design data collection campaigns, and they gather and interpret their own data
in order to make a decision (regarding the hospital they are studying). They
only get the data they have decided to collect.
designing-testing iterations will be implemented in the course of the project.
A first implementation will be tested during winter 2009. Experiments will be
conducted in ecological situations, that is, during classroom-based learning
situations that are implemented on a regular basis for several groups of
students, and in agreement with teachers.
The aim of
the PhD work is to investigate how an authentic experience (within a simulated
hospital) provokes learning (in statistics). We assume that knowledge is gained
in the context of authentic problem situations, in other words, the situation
in which knowledge is developed is integral to what is learned. More precisely,
we search the characteristics of the environment that make the experience
efficient in terms of learning. Among the characteristics that are assumed to
play an important role are localisation (e.g. the physical place and media used
by students to collect data) and temporality (e.g. the dynamic of data
availability that simulates hospital life).
four phases in the problem situation offered to students: design a protocol,
collect data (e.g. interview patients), analyse data, make a decision in an
uncertain world. We will focus on the protocol design and data collection
phases and assess the impact on learning of the experience lived by students
during these phases. Indications of this impact are expected during the last
phase (decision making).
The work to be done can focus on different aspects of the project depending
on the candidate: didactical analysis on learning and teaching statistics,
gaming scenario design, environment design issues (including collaborative
learning support), and environment trails design and interpretation.
Experiments and tests will be conducted every year.
The MeTAH group:
candidate will become a member of the MeTAH group. MeTAH comprises 20
researchers, 3 engineers and about 12 PhD students. We do research either on
the design of computer environments for learning (microworlds, simulations,
...), for teaching (authoring systems, diagnosis systems...) and/or on their
use for math/science education. MeTAH is the largest group in France working
on TEL (technology-enhanced learning). It is part of the Laboratory of
Informatics of Grenoble (LIG).
studentship is available from October 2008 for three years. You have a Master's
degree in science education or educational sciences, with a thesis topic
preferably related to TEL. If necessary, you will have to take French lessons
in order to be able to analyse students' productions. The PhD thesis
dissertation may be written and defended in English.
Closing date for applications:
detailed CV no latter than September 30, 2008.
Further information on this position is
researchers Muriel Ney (Muriel.Ney@imag.fr)
and Nicolas Balacheff (Nicolas.Balacheff@imag.fr)
on the project are available on request)