Conceptual Representations for Learning about Complex Biological System: From Expertise to Instruction

Updated: 11:14am, 14 Nov, 2022
25 February 2009 (Wed)
Room 101, Runme Shaw Bldg. HKU
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This presentation will examine how the conceptual representation from structure-behavior-function theory can be used as a tool for thinking about complex biological systems. A study of expertise demonstrates that experts consider two complex systems in terms of structures, behaviors, and functions whereas novices represent these systems largely in terms of structures.  Based on these findings, an experiment was conducted to test these ideas in the use of hypermedia before developing a larger unit of classroom instruction that focused on function.  This presentation will discuss the tools that were developed to help make behavior and function visible, how they were enacted in different classrooms, and what students learned.

About the speaker(s):

About the speaker(s):Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver is an associate professor of Educational Psychology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in the United States. She received her PhD from Vanderbilt University. Her current research interests focus on how people learn about complex phenomena and how technology can help support that learning. As part of this work, she studies problem-based learning and collaborative knowledge construction in both face-to-face and computer-supported collaborative learning environments. Prof. Hmelo-Silver has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and edited two books in these areas and is co-editor of Journal of the Learning Sciences.

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