Model Based Interactive Learning Environments

Postgraduate course

Course description

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.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
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 live-streamed, recorded and stored lectures and workshops with active student participation 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
Presentation of the student work, an interactive learning environment and the associated documentation, in a public seminar. The exam committee will be attending the seminar in person or via an electronic forum and give feedback on the presented material. Feedback can be incorporated before the final submission. 
Forms of Assessment

Interactive learning environment and associated documentation (report).

The exam assignment will be given in the language of instruction in the course.

The exam answer must be submitted in the same language as the exam assignment.

Grading Scale
An ECTS grade is provided to the student at the end of the course according to the A-F scale.
Assessment Semester
Assessment in teaching semester
Reading List
The reading list will be ready before 1 July for the autumn semester and 1 Decemeber for the spring semester. 
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 Administrator
The Department of Geography at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course