Designing a Simulation Lab: The Process that Led to Action Potentials Explored and Extended, Two Simulation-Based Neurobiology Labs

Eli Meir


Simulations have long played an important role in neurobiology education. This paper describes the design-research process that led to development of two popular simulation-based neurobiology modules used in undergraduate biology classes. Action Potentials Explored, and the more in-depth and quantitative Action Potentials Extended, are the third generation of neurobiology teaching simulations the author has helped develop. The paper focuses on how we used the idea of constraining simulations as a way of tuning the modules to different student populations. Other designers of interactive educational materials may also find constraint a useful lens through which to view designs.