Externally Modeling Mental Models

  • David H. Jonassen


Meaningful learning, as opposed to reproductive learning, is active, constructive, intentional, authentic, and collaborative. When learners engage in meaningful learning, they naturally construct mental models. When learners collaborate, they naturally construct group mental models. One method for engaging learners in meaningful learning is to have them construct computer-based models that externalize their mental models. Using tools such as databases, concept maps, expert systems, spreadsheets, systems modeling tools, microworlds and simulation tools, teachable agents, computer conferences, and hypermedia, learners can construct models of domain knowledge, problems, systems, semantic structures, and thinking processes.


Modeling Mental models Meaningful learning Authentic contexts Collaboration Cognitive residue Structural knowledge Performance/procedural knowledge Activity-based knowledge Conversational/discursive knowledge Social negotiation Computer-based modeling Microworlds Modeling systems Simulations Instructional technology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Psychology and Learning TechnologiesUniversity of MissouriSt. LouisUSA

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