Simulation as a technique for assessing knowledge and skill in the sciences.

This series of user interfaces was developed to help evaluate questions about whether student skill and knowledge could be measured reliably and in depth using virtual simulations as part of a science test.

Subject matter experts outlined topical scenarios and worked with designers to embed questions and actions which could be interpreted in terms of degrees of mastery.

Part of the challenge involves developing novel interface approaches so that interaction with the virtual scenes was as natural as possible.

In addition, efforts were made to insure that students who face physical limitations such as hearing or motor skills could be accommodated.

Students were asked to experiment with system parameters in order to investigate the effect of the changes on the system long-term.
By drawing lines, students depicted the flow of resources, such as energy, through the ecosystem.
Simulations addressing ecology, physics, and geology were prepared.
The data dashboard was used to evaluate graph interpretation skill as well as to control aspects of the simulations.