The aim of this work is to adapt and test, in a Brazilian public school, the ACE model proposed by Borkulo for evaluating student performance as a teaching-learning process based on computational modeling systems. The ACE model is based on different types of reasoning involving three dimensions. In addition to adapting the model and introducing innovative methodological procedures and instruments for collecting and analyzing data, our main results showed that the ACE model is superior than written tests for discriminating students on the top and bottom of the scale of scientific reasoning abilities, while both instruments are equivalent for evaluating students in the middle of the scale.
In this paper we present a small-scale study investigating the use of the MicroWorlds Pro multimedia programming environment as an authoring tool for constructing models, simulations and multimedia applications with students of Senior High School. We implemented the cross-thematic educational scenario ``Free fall simulation development'' as an open and flexible framework for activities in actual classroom circumstances, exploring two alternate instructional strategies: a) simulation development from scratch and b) use of a preconstructed microworld, and we observed how the students collaborate and interact with the programming environment. The findings highlight the overall process and the differences in the students' levels of engagement and performance, indicating some special features of the programming environment that contribute to or cause difficulty in the creation of an effective learning environment. We attempt to contribute to the discussion on the main parameters of designing, developing and implementing an effective constructionist approach aimed at engaging students in simulation development as a cross-thematic multimedia project.
Muscular strength tests are of fundamental importance for the physiotherapeutic diagnosis and a difficult issue for learning. Also, there are very few softwares specifically developed for teaching/learning and diagnosis in the Physical Therapy area. This work describes the development and evaluation of MuStreT, an educational multimedia computer tool for Physical Therapy students. MuStreT integrates hypertext, movie clips, narrations, animations, self-evaluation questionnaires, and was inspired by the constructivism concepts. The software was developed using Unified Modeling Language concepts and implemented using animation and authoring tools. MuStreT was quantitatively evaluated by Physical Therapy students and qualitatively evaluated by Physical Therapy professionals/lecturers and Computer Science students. Results show that learning was increased using MuStreT, thanks to its interactivity potential and multimedia features. This work suggests that the use of informatics in Physical Therapy education has a great potential for improving the teaching-learning process.