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faculty.washington.edu/pwaddell/Models/Urban_Models_Syllabus.htm and http://www.ulam.org/Training.html respectively). Another similar course is taught at the University of Pennsylvania but only a short course description was available online. The review of other courses was limited to material available via the Internet due to the abbreviated course preparation period (funding was approved in January and the course began in April).  

The structure of this course and methods for presenting the material are the focus of this paper and should be of interest to planners interested in presenting similar material to non-modelers (citizens and elected officials), as well as to planning instructors at the university level.

Active Learning

At the outset, it was decided that elements of active learning would be the foundation for this class. Wright (1993) states that support for active learning depends on two basic assumptions: (1) that learning is by nature an active endeavor, and (2) that different people learn in different ways. (University of Indiana, Bloomington Web site: www.iub.edu/~teaching).  

"[S]tudents learn best when applying subject matter—in other words, learning by doing—and, second, ... teachers who rely exclusively on any one instructional approach often fail to get through to significant numbers of students. As a result, both teachers and students end up dissatisfied. By increasing active learning strategies in our teaching, we increase the odds that students will leave our classrooms with more than a notebook full of “facts.” Research does demonstrate that when we use information (for example, rehearse it or solve problems with it), we are more likely to retain it (Bransford, 1979).

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