VModel: A visual qualitative modeling environment for middle-school students

Kenneth D. Forbus, Karen Carney, Bruce L. Sherin, Leo C. Ureel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Learning how to create, test, and revise models is a central skill in scientific reasoning. We argue that qualitative modeling provides an appropriate level of representation for helping middle-school students learn to become modelers. We describe Vmodel, a system we have created that uses visual representations and that enables middle-school students to create qualitative models. Software coaches use simple analyses of model structure plus qualitative simulation to provide feedback and explanations. This system has been used in several studies in Chicago public school classrooms, using curricula developed in collaboration with teachers. We discuss the design of the visual representation language, how Vmodel works, and evidence from school studies that indicate it is successful in helping students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalAI Magazine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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