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Development of a Highly Realistic, Fine-Grained, Low-Cost
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Today's extremely powerful, low-cost computer systems offer tremendous potential as learning tools. However, development of high quality educational software, particularly simulations, lags behind. This research will explore the issues in creating highly realistic, very detailed simulations directly targeted for educational purposes. The domain simulated will be a small retail business. This domain was chosen because a retail business is a relatively complex system but is familiar to most students. The domain is also rich with practical knowledge useful to many potential students. The research methodology will involve successive refinements of a prototype simulation through several iterations of feedback from actual store managers (practitioners). The prototype simulation will be an object-based software program executable on an affordably priced PC. The specific elements that will be investigated are: the level of detail, or granularity, that can reasonably be simulated; the realism that can be achieved, including terminology, quantitative relationships, and visual representations; and the integration of direct teaching paradigms, such as lessons and tutorials, into the simulation.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *