By Kirsten Kainz
How can co-creation communities use models – simple visual representations and/or sophisticated computer simulations – in ways that promote learning and improvement? Modeling techniques can serve to generate insights and correct misunderstandings. Are they equally as useful for fostering new learning and adaptation? Sterman (2006) argues that if new learning is to occur in complex systems then models must be subjected to testing. Model testing must, in turn, yield evidence that not only guides decision-making within the current model, but also feeds back evidence to improve existing models so that subsequent decisions can be based on new learning.
Consider the real-world case I was involved in of a meeting in a school district that intends to roll-out a new mathematics curriculum and support teachers’ use of the new curriculum through professional development. The district has made a large monetary investment in the curriculum and professional development both through the purchase of materials and the dedication of human resources to the effort.