COMPUTER ASSISTED SIMULATION AS A FORMATIVE STRATEGY FOR EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION
The use of computer-assisted simulations in education allows the creation of artificial situations that approach, in a high degree, real situations. As a consequence, a better motivation of students towards the learning process is achieved. Simulations provide with an interactive representation, close to real life, enabling the observation of a phenomenon as if it was set in a real context.
The use of this type of procedures in teaching processes makes it possible for the student to manipulate a real model and visualize the effects caused, by using a trial-error model. The environments created permit the repetition of a test or technique as many times as required, with the objective of acquiring a specific skill.
Technological models of simulation are presented as additional resources in the training process, aimed to facilitate and optimize both the learning process and the students’ abilities. We show practical examples of virtual learning environments and computer assisted simulation procedures, such as virtual classrooms, visual holographic representation rooms, etc. These technological environments we present here are created with commercial computing tools that allow the generation of 3D images and animated characters for teaching purposes. Among these computing developments, we highlight: Poser, Maya, 3D Studio Max, ZBrush, Blender…
Many of these technological advances were combined with chromakey technology, what makes it possible to create simulations and virtual environments of a great realism.
The use of technological tools to assist the construction and visualization of knowledge, together with the exploitation of its didactic resources, it’s a field of competence for professionals linked to educative areas and professionals in charge of developing new technological advances to optimize learning processes, who have to face a continuous challenge.
In a near future, we will for certain witness a growing development in the use of educative simulations in our country. The use of technological simulation systems has a big utility as a tool to qualify students in any area of knowledge.
The technological advance that technological developments have experienced in the last few years, together with a raising in the awareness to create digital contents of a high quality and an improvement in communicative infrastructures have been crucial elements for the spreading of advanced simulation procedures in the educational field. As a consequence, we find ourselves immersed in the use of training methods that, since recently, could only be used in an in-class education.
It is evident that the use of alternative resources for teaching, tools to assist the learning process and simulation computing systems allow to reach high satisfaction levels among people who use them.
This work has been partially funded by the research Project I+D+I EDU2009-08753EDU, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.