Evaluating the effectiveness of simulation-based instruction about water resources in the middle school science classroom

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

21st International Conference of the System Dynamics Society


System Dynamics Society


This poster describes research comparing the effect of system dynamics-based instruction versus traditional teacher-directed instruction about water management in 6th grade science classes. The study tests the hypothesis that learner use of a simulation model promotes greater understanding and better retention of the material than a teacher-led presentation of the same material. Approximately 180 sixth grade students from a Middle School in Las Vegas, NV participated in the study. Half received the same introduction followed by a session in which students used a simulation model to explore the issues on their own. Both groups were given a pre-test, a test immediately following the instruction, and another test approximately one month after the instruction. This poster discusses the results of the study.


Instructional systems; Lecture method in teaching; Middle school teaching; Science – Study and teaching (Middle school); System analysis; System theory; Teaching; Water resource management – Study and teaching (Middle school) – Simulation methods


Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Environmental Sciences | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Science and Mathematics Education | Water Resource Management




Conference held in New York City, New York from July 20- July 24.


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