Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Model Based Interactive Learning Environments

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeGEO-SD309
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

ECTS Credits

The subject GEO-SD309 is a 10 ECTS course at masters level, - corresponding to 7 weeks of full time studies.

Level of Study


Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

The goal in this course is to equip the students with knowledge about model based interactive learning environments and with skills in the development, assessment and use of such learning environments

The course provides theory, models, methods and techniques for the design, construction and testing of simulation based interactive learning environments portraying complex, dynamic systems.

Simulation based interactive learning environments provide challenges and decision support to their users. Properly designed, such learning environments may;

  1. provide foundations for the design and implement¬ation of experiments developed for the purpose of investigating the challenges in strategy development, policy design and decision making in complex, dynamic contexts and how those challenges may be met;
  2. provide highly efficient opportunities for learning and help prevent decisions governed by misperceptions and bounded rationality;
  3. guide the design, development and testing of effective decision support systems.

The course may also be taken as a part of the Ph.D. program.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


  • The student knows about the theoretical foundation and associated methods, techniques and tools for the development, assessment and use of model based interactive learning environments in contexts such as learning, serious gaming and decision support.


  • The student will have developed the skills to make effective use of the methods, techniques and tools presented in lectures and workshops and will be offered practical guidance in creating interactive learning environments within the field of system dynamics.

General competence

  • The student will gain experience in using software to develop both single- and multi-user learning environments. They will, individually or in groups, develop their own learning environments that they document with focus on (1) purpose, (2) the underlying model, (3) reasons for the design, including theory, (4) and user guidance. Their work is evaluated with respect to purpose, documentation, transparency, effect evaluation, and presentation.

Required Previous Knowledge

GEO-SD302 and GEO-SD303

Access to the Course

The course is offered as part of the M. Phil programme in System Dynamics, but may also be taken by other students with a background in systems dynamics corresponding to GEO-SD302 and GEO-SD303 (i.e. in modeling and analysis).

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be offered in the form of lectures and workshops led by professors and professionals over a period of 3 weeks, where the emphasis will be on workshops This is followed by 4 weeks of guided development work on an individual basis or in small groups where there will be at least one milestone presentation.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Lecture and workshop attendance is compulsory.

Forms of Assessment

The student work, an interactive learning environment and the associated documentation, will be presented in a final public seminar. All the material will be submitted and assessed by an exam committee who will be attending the seminar in person or via an electronic forum.

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester


Reading List

Articles by: Steve Alessi, Michael Spector, Pål I. Davidsen, Billy Schonberg

Compendium and video instruction by Pål I. Daviden & Billy Schoenberg

Software: Stella Architect

Course Evaluation

All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.

Programme Committee

The System Dynamics Group, Department of Geography is responsible for the content, structure, and quality of the M. Phil program in system dynamics, including GEO-SD309.

Course Coordinator

Prof. Pål I. Davidsen


Contact Information

Department of Geography



Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Assignment and presentation

    Submission deadline
    02.11.2020, 16:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam