Science often involves the detailed observation of phenomena. The goal is usually to connect a cause to subsequent effects: force causes a motion, squeezing a plastic bottle causes the temperature and pressure to increase, adding a catalyst speeds up a reaction. If we can use technology to capture the event and allow students to study it in detail, they can learn by tracing the strands of causes and effects.
The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
Students need the opportunity to review events that happen too quickly or slowly to notice, or that might simply be missed on first view. This can be accomplished by the familiar controls for a video clip, a graph that shows all time at once, or the ability to replay a simulation.
Context of Use:
Probeware: A graph with time as the independent variable has the ability so show a range of times simultaneously. This is a powerful way of summarizing an entire event but can be confusing. Ideally, the user should be able to click on one time and see a representation or video of the event.
Models: We have been building molecular dynamics models (see http://workbench.concord.org/modeler/index.html ) and recently realized that we have provided insufficient user control for detailed review of models. The next version will have these controls. To view a movie taken that gives an idea of how this will work, see http://www.concord.org/~dima/CharlesTest.html
Note: to view the various modeling environments, go to concord.org, register as a member, and download DEUCE.
None--we have not studied the marginal benefit of this feature, but it seems obvious. Certainly, we see students using review tools when they are available.