Working-, Doing- or Learning-Environments

Designing Dynamical Learning Environments for Simulation: Micro-Worlds & Applets on the World Wide Web

Dr. ir. Rik Min
researcher / designer
Ir. Jan de Goeijen
developer / software engineer

Faculty of Educational Science and Technology (EDTE), University of Twente (UT)
Postbus 217; 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands. E-mail:


A student today no longer spends his time in a lonely little attic room, a noisy lecture room or the deadly silence in the huge reading room of a university library. These components of his environment still exist but their functionality has changed. In principal all students at the campus of the University of Twente (UT) have an excellent connection with the electronic highway. The World Wide Web is extremely popular, both among lecturers and students. It fills the almost natural need of young people to want to travel all over the world and to try and understand it. All this at minimum cost please. For many courses, e-mailing with the lecturer is a matter of course. So is publishing educational material on the Web. At our university we teach students in their 2nd, 3rd and 4th year, to make eductional IT applications (in java and javascript) and to implement them in (normal) courseware or instruction programs. The courseware so become - what we called - higher order courseware. Our students have to learn designing and developing Learning- and Instruction-environments with intelligent modules. We combine the design-courses with our research & development-projects. This projects do research to modern, multimedial learning environments based on special designed simulations and a new design-theory: the 'Parallel Instruction' theory for web-based simulations.

Pilot projects

During the past academic year we have conducted pilot studies into the possibilities and the 'performance' (i.e. the 'strength' or the 'power') of HTML, javascript and Java: the 'WebLib'-project and the 'SimLib'-project. In particular for on-line learning environments for simulation and problem solving in front of a computer monitor. A number of different interactive on-line examples have been developed and a number of different on-line tests have been created. This research has let to educational applications.



Screendump 1. Simulation site with CARDIO; built with 'SimLib' and JavaTHESIS.

Methods & Techniques

Principle of model-driven simulations

Principle of intelligent feedback: here video fragments

Principle of building blocks with events between input-applets and output-applets

Screendump 2. Simulation site with CARDIO; built with 'WebLib' and javascript.

Parallel instruction
type 1 order parallelism:

left: the open doing environment; right: the instruction (scrollable)

Parallel instruction
type 2 order parallelism (a):

left: worksheet with applet; right: instruction

Parallel instruction
type 2 order parallelism (b):

left: applet; right: home-base with instruction etc.

Screendump 3. Simulation site with FISH POND; built with 'SimLib' and JavaTHESIS (embedded in TeleTOP)


Screendump 4. Simulation site with BOILER; built with 'SimLib' and JavaTHESIS


== more about parallellism and the PI theory ==
== parallellism and the PI theory ==

Enschede: Tampere, june 29 & Fribourg, aug 30, 2001.