Collaborative Use & Design of Interactive Simulations

Alexander Repenning, Andri Ioannidou, Jonathan Phillips
Center of LifeLong Learning & Design Department of Computer Science
Campus Box 430
University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309 303 492-1349,


Abstract: Interactive simulations hold great potential as a communication vehicle capable of improving the usefulness of technology in education. While some benefit can be gained by simply using pre-built simulations, learners benefit most from designing all or at least some aspects of their own simulations. The challenge is to enable this design-as-learning activity without turning students into programmers. A component-based approach cannot only simplify the design of interactive simulations but at the same time serves as collaboration-enabling technology connecting students, teachers, publishers, and researchers. A general framework called the Use Û Design Spectrum is introduced to conceptualize collaboration issues of simulation use and design. The AgentSheets simulation-authoring tool is used to provide specific examples of collaborations.


agents & intelligent systems, end-user programming, interactive simulations, use vs. design,
collaboration, multimedia