The Role of Web-Based Simulations In Technology Education

Tom Page*
Lecturer in Electronic Product Design, Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University, UK.
Periodicity:October - December'2009


This paper discusses the theoretical underpinning and main aspects of the development and application of the web orientation agent (WOA) and presents preliminary results concerning its use in university studies. The web-orientation agent (WOA) is a software based tool which produces an interactive learning environment offering support and guidance in teaching and learning that makes use of local applications, in this case, an electronic circuit design and simulation application.

The WOA and its supportive role in the teaching-learning process is based on activity theory (Kaptelinin & Nardi 1997) along with the constructive view of teaching, studying and learning (Miettinen 2002). The study draws on learning psychology and user evaluation of the use of computer-based learning environments. The basic principles of such planning include activity theory in computer-based environments (Nardi 1997; Kapetelinin & Nardi 1997), the theory of internalisation (Podolskij 1997), the zone of proximal development (Vygotsy 1978; Tella & Mononen-Aaltonen 1998), the NeoGalperin model for stage-by-stage formation of mind actions, and the notion of reducing the cognitive load of students (Sweller & Chandler 1994; Wilson & Cole 1996).

The tool developed in this research seeks to move away from traditional methods taken from multimedia technologies towards maximising the scope of present computer screens in a way which permits learner application software to be used simultaneously alongside the web agent. The web-orientation agent is an interactive aid and guide which enables the student user to view multiple applications. Each of these applications use as small a part of the computer screen area. Furthermore, these applications demand as little of the student users' attention as the supportive information for study activity requires.


Network-based Learning, Simulation, Teaching-studying-learning, Activity Theory.

How to Cite this Article?

Tom Page (2009). The Role of Web Based Simulations in Technology Education. i-manager’s Journal of Educational Technology, 6(3), 20-27.


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