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Title: Towards the use of interactive simulation for effective e-learning in university classroom environment
Author: Ameerbakhsh, Omair
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 4512
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2018
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In this PhD thesis, the utilisation of interactive simulation in a higher education e-learning classroom environment was explored and its effectiveness was experimentally evaluated by engaging university students in a classroom setting. Two case studies were carried out for the experimental evaluation of the proposed novel interactive simulation e-learning tool. In the first case study, the use of interactive agent-based simulation was demonstrated in teaching complex adaptive system concepts in the area of ecology to university students and its effectiveness was measured in a classroom environment. In a lab intervention using a novel interactive agent-based simulation (built in NetLogo). For the purpose of teaching complex adaptive systems such as the concept of spatially-explicit predator prey interaction to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the University of Stirling. The effectiveness of using the interactive simulation was investigated by using the NetLogo software and compared with non-interactive simulation built using R programming language. The experimental evaluation was carried out using a total of 38 students. Results of this case study demonstrates that the students found interactive agent-based simulation to be more engaging, effective and user friendly as compare to the non-interactive simulation. In the second case study, a novel interactive simulation game was developed (in NetLogo) and its effectiveness in teaching and learning of complex concepts in the field of marine ecology was demonstrated. This case study makes a twofold contribution. Firstly, the presentation of a novel interactive simulation game, developed specifically for use in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the area of marine ecology. This novel interactive simulation game is designed to help learners to explore a mathematical model of fishery population growth and understand the principles for sustainable fisheries. Secondly, the comparison of two different methods of using the interactive simulation game within the classroom was investigated: learning from active exploration of the interactive simulation game compared with learning from an expert demonstration of the interactive simulation game. The case study demonstrated the effectiveness of learning from passive viewing of an expert demonstration of the interactive simulation game over learning from active exploration of the interactive simulation game without expert guidance, for teaching complex concepts sustainable fishery management. A mixed methods study design was used, using both quantitative and qualitative methods to compare the learning effectiveness of the two approaches, and the students’ preferences. The investigation was carried out by running interventions with a mixture of undergraduate and postgraduate students from the University of Stirling in a classroom environment. A total of 74 participants were recruited from undergraduate and postgraduate level for both case studies. This thesis demonstrated through two case studies effectiveness of the proposed novel interactive simulation in university e-learning classroom environment.
Supervisor: Hussain, Amir ; Maharaj, Savi Sponsor: Saudi Cultural Bureau in London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Interactive Simulation ; e-Learning ; HCI ; Serious games ; Learning effectiveness ; User experience ; Mixed methods ; Sustainable fishery management ; Biological system modeling ; Predator prey systems ; Education Simulation methods ; Simulation games in education ; Human-computer interaction ; Interactive multimedia