The carbon cycle and systems thinking : Conceptualizing a visualization-based learning system for teaching the carbon cycle that supports systems thinking

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för datavetenskap

Abstract: Today, climate change, has become one of the greatest societal challenges of our time. This challenge requires an accurate understanding of climate change for making informed decisions regarding the environmental issues. The carbon cycle is one of the earth’s complicated cycles that has a critical role in the planet’s climate. Developing a thorough perception about this complex cycle uncovers how human activities impact the planet and reveals the connection between multiple environmental issues.Perceiving this complex cycle requires systems thinking skills that enable students to recognize components of the carbon cycle and understand the interrelating dynamic relationship between them. Establishing systems thinking skills and developing a thorough perception about the carbon cycle is a difficult matter for students. Adaptive visualisation-based tutoring systems have a great potential for facilitating teaching and learning cyclical models and systems thinking in schools. Such systems consider the students’ needs and provide personalised feedback that can guide individuals more effectively throughout the learning process. This thesis project intends to use diagrammatic visualizations, systems thinking, and adaptive tutoring systems as three technical approaches for conceptualising a learning system that aims to teach the carbon cycle. The framework of this thesis project is formed in relation to a research project called ‘Tracing Carbon’ focusing on science education for pupils on grade 7-9.

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