# Model building. Primary purpose of modelling Quantitative and qualitative external models Model construction versus model use.

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Model building

Primary purpose of modelling Quantitative and qualitative external models Model construction versus model use

Model building (1) What are models?  Models are conceptual systems consisting of:  Elements  Relations  Operations  Rules governing interactions that are expressed in some external representational system.  Models exist in the minds of people and are embodied in the:  Equations  Diagrams  Computer programs  Other representational media used by people to represent their understanding. Terminology

Model building (2)  There are models in the mind (mental or conceptual models) and external models that represent the conceptual models.  Mental models provide the material for building external models.  External models regulate internal models.  External models provide the means for conceptual change. Terminology

Primary purpose of modelling The construction and revision of conceptual understanding (that is conceptual change).  Building explicit (external) models of internal conceptual models engages and supports conceptual change.  Building and testing external models benefit peoples’ internal models.  Building external models is impossible without the existence of internal models. To express and externalize thinking and visualize and test components of theories that people build. Terminology

Quantitative and qualitative external models Representing phenomena in mathematical formulas is the most exact way to model phenomena. These types of models are known as quantitative models. Representing phenomena in words are just as important as quantitative models. These types of models are known as qualitative models. Learners need help in construction both types of models. Qualitative models can both constrain and facilitate the construction of quantitative models. Terminology

Model construction versus model use (1) Learning from building models  Learner can learn from models by building them and using them.  When building models learning involves finding out what elements fit together in order to represent the theory.  Modelling requires making certain choices.  Model building is much more productive for learning conceptual change than model using.  Learners construct a mental model of the phenomena and use the model as a basis for:  Prediction  Inference  Speculation  Experimentation Terminology

Model construction versus model use (2) When learners construct, manipulate and test their technology-mediated models they learn more and change conceptually more. Model building is an engaging and important kind of learning because:  Model building is a natural cognitive phenomenon.  Modelling is essentially constructivist in nature.  Modelling supports hypothesis testing, conjecturing and inferring.  Modelling requires learners to articulate causal reasoning.  Modelling results in the construction of cognitive artefacts (externalized mental models).  Modelling tools help learners transcend limitations of their minds. Learning from using models  Learners can learn from using models however learning depends on the extent to which they can transfer the things that they learn from manipulating the model. Terminology

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