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SSI 3013





DATE: 27 APRIL 2018







Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system (J. Banks; J.
Carson; B. Nelson; D. Nicol, 2001) The act of simulating something first requires that a model
be developed which this model represents the key features, behaviors and functions of the
selected physical or abstract system or process. The model represents the system itself, whereas
the simulation represents the process of the system over time.

Simulation is used in many fields, such as simulation is been used in technology for performance
optimization, safety engineering, testing, training, education, and video games. Besides,
computer experiments are used to study simulation models. Simulation can be used to display the
eventual real things of another conditions and courses of action. Simulation is also used when the
real system cannot be involved, because it may not be reachable, or it may be hazardous or
unacceptable to engage, or it is being designed but not yet built, or it may simply not exist
(Sokolowski, J.A.; Banks, C.M., 2009).

There are three types of simulation which are live, virtual and constructive. A simulation also
may be a combination of two or more styles. Within these styles, simulations can be science-
based or involve interactions with humans. Live simulations typically involve humans and/or
equipment and activity in a setting where they would operate for real. Think war games with
soldiers out in the field or operating command posts. Time is continuous, as in the real world.
Another example of live simulation is testing a car battery using an electrical tester.

Meanwhile, Virtual simulations typically involve humans and/or equipment in a computer-

controlled setting. Time is in separate steps, allowing users to concentrate on the important stuff,
so to speak. A flight simulator falls into this category. Besides, Constructive
simulations typically do not involve humans or equipment as participants. Rather than by time,
they are driven more by the proper sequencing of events. The anticipated path of a hurricane
might be "constructed" through application of temperatures, pressures, wind currents and other
weather factors. Science-based simulations are typically constructive in nature.

Simulation is widely used for educational purposes. There are several software that can be used
to run simulation in science education. One of them is Stella Software. Stella Software are
computer programme that has been created by Robert Webb of Australia. STELLA (Systems
Thinking for Education and Research; from isee Systems) is a modeling software package that
diagrams, charts, and uses animation help visual learners discover relationships between
variables and helps simplify model building. Stella handles time series, sensitivity, and
simulation models well and has a 'drag and drop' modeling interface.


Incorporating computer-simulation modelling into project-based learning may be effective but

requires careful planning and implementation. Teachers, especially, need pedagogical content
knowledge which refers to knowledge about how students learn from materials infused with
technology. This study suggests that students learn best by actively constructing knowledge from
a combination of experience, interpretation and structured interactions with peers and teachers
when using technology. Simulations do not work on their own, there needs to be some
structuring of the students' interactions with the simulation to increase effectiveness. The purpose
of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of project-based learning in a technology-rich
environment. A science project, Land-use in Watershed, that takes advantage of Internet
facilities was developed and integrated with a simulation software package, Structural Thinking
and Experiential Learning Laboratory, with Animation, (STELLA) developed to promote deeper
understanding of Land-use by students. The Participants in the study were 72 students in a quasi-
experimental research design. Statistical analyses showed that students who participated in the
manipulation of the experimental model of the watershed experiment and the STELLA
simulation performed best on understanding the watershed concept.

STELLA Software is a new software program that has been developed to enable very wide,non
technical audiences to conceptualize, construct and analyse system dynamic models. One of the
goals of the development of STELLA is to improve the learning process. This software offers a
hands-on way to visualize and communicate how complex and ideas really work. It consists of
limitless questions, which make the users more attracted to use it. As this software are easy to
use, it has been used widely in education from economics to physics, chemistry to public policy
and literature to calculus. This model allows the user to communicate how the system works.
Generally, STELLA software is really valuable for the visual learners because the animation,
diagram and charts in that software can help them discover the relationship between variables in
an equation. There are a lot of advantage of the (STELLA) in stimulation and modelling . One of
the main advantages of using simulation in teaching and learning is the process of teaching and
learning becomes more interesting and exciting as the learners can explore everything in many
types of experiments. If they have the software of simulation ,they can explore it early when
they are not in the class. These can make them more inspiring to study and discover a new thing.

Besides, simulation also can help the teachers to teach the abstract content to the students. It is
meant that, the simulation can make the student easy to understand as they can use the simulation
and not just imagine on what have been taught by the teacher. Other advantages of using
simulation are very quick development of complex models, short learning cycles and no
programming is needed. So, only minimal errors will occur.

Then, it can be used to enhance the understanding of the modelling and simulation process for
undergraduate students. In addition some description will be given of larger practical and
research applications of the Stella software. By using this simulation, the students can think more
about what will happen next and what are the factors that can cause the pattern of the graph. The
students also can develop a feel for what variables are important and the significance of
magnitude changes in parameters. If the magnitude is change, the graph will also change. There
is no such thing that the value is change, but the graph still the same. This simulation also can
help the students to understand the possibility and sampling theory. The teachers not have to
worry the validity of this simulation theory because instructional simulations have proven their
worth many times in the statistics based fields. So, it can be said that simulation is one of the best
method for the teachers to give their student more understanding in the abstract topics.

Simulation can be considered as a powerful tool in active learning experiences. It can provide a
kind of lab-like experiences. So, the students will become more exciting and inspiring in study
because most of the students like to do something rather than just hearing to something. Finding
a good simulation in teaching is a challenge for the teachers in order to integrate them into the
content and objectives of the course chosen. However, if the teachers know what their students
need, it is easier for them to choose a suitable simulation. STELLA is suitable to be launched in
Malaysia as it is one of the simulations which give benefits to the users whether the user is a
student or a teacher .

The software also provides a check on intuition. This software provides a vehicle for building an
understanding of why something happen. The tools enable an easier process and demonstration.
STELLA is being used to stimulate a system over time, jump the gap between the theory and the
real world as the simulation is closely like the real one, enable students to creatively change the
systems by changing the value or variables, teach the students to look for the relationships by
seeing a big picture and clearly communicate system inputs and outputs and demonstrate

During the lab session ,while running experiment students are able to change the values to any
value that they want and see what the result is by using STELLA. Students should predict and
explain the outcomes that they expect the simulation to generate. From that, the students will not
stay passively in the class experiment. Every effort should be make it difficult for them to
become passive. Each student must submit timely input and not rely on classmates to play for
them. So, everyone will have the experience of using the simulation and the lab session will
become more attractive.

This simulation has the potential to engage students in deep learning that empowers
understanding compared to the surface learning that requires only memorization. From this
simulation, students will more understand as they conduct the experiment by themselves and find
the relationship between the variables in order to get the conclusion of the interaction. If they did
not use this simulation, they maybe not understand, but they only memorize what the teacher has
taught them. According to the pattern of the graph, the students are able to predict what will
happen on the next years as they know already what the pattern is.

As this graph is more complex to be interpreted by the students, it can cause actively engaging in
student. They are actively participating to formulate new questions to be asked and also
anticipating the outcomes. Social processes and social interactions in action are also occurred.
They are also able to transfer knowledge to new problems and situations. A well done simulation
should be constructed to include an extension to a new problem or new set parameters that
requires student to extend what they have learned in an earlier content.

However, this simulation also can give disadvantages to the students that do not have computer
or limited availability of computers. They will not have the opportunity to explore after they
have learnt in the class. Their learning process will happen only in the class.

In addition, this simulation also can give a big problem to the users that do not know how to use
computer. The users need to do two things in one time, which are learning about the computer
and also learning about the simulation. So, may be the user will be a little bit stress to using

Besides, many simulations require intensive pre simulation lesson preparation. So, it takes time if
we want to use the simulation in a short period. High cost of software also include as the
disadvantage of the simulation. Only the trial one can be used by the use .But, after 30 days, it
cannot be use anymore.

In addition, limited scope of applicability and also limited flexibility. This is because the
variation of the topics is not too many. Some of them may not fix with the users specific.
Teachers need to provide sufficient time for students to reflect on and discuss what they learned
from the simulation. This is because student used more time in interpreted data from the graph. A
simulation of a system is the operation of a model, which is a representation of that system.

The model is also responsive to manipulate which would be impossible, too expensive, or too
impractical to perform on the system and attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular
system but the operation of the model can be studied by the user.

The Application Of Stella

Stimulation have a lot of application. One of the applications is designing and analyzing
manufacturing system. System can be design by using the process of the simulatiom. Besides
that, the simulation is also used in military because it can evaluating a new military weopons
system or tactics. Not only that, simulation also determining the ordering policies for a record
system and designing communications systems and message protocols for them. Simulation also
can be used on our daily life. For example, simulation can be applied in designing and operating
transportation facilities such as freeways, airports, subways and ports. The other application of
the simulation is evaluating design for service organizations such as hospitals, post offices or
junk food restaurant and analyzing financial or economic systems.

Computer simulation will help to give encouragement to the student to get involve in
taching and learning process in the class. This is because simulation can be said as interactive
multimedia with dynamic-element that are under user control and many user-controlled features.
For example, one of the computer simulation is Stella System. This simulation will help student
to increase their inspiration in the learning. For example, when the student especially science
students learn about the topic of pre-predators. The simulation can help the students easy to
understand the concept of prey dan predator because students can adjust and run the simulation
themselves by using their user-controlled features. So, with computer simulation, student can
know the increase or decrease in the population of the pre-predators by manipulating the
variables. For example, rat and owl in oil palm plantations. By exploring the stimulation, student
will have higher intrinsic motivation compared when teachers only teach them about the
increasing in the population with the pictures. This is because, student can identify the changes
of the pattern of the result.

Simulations also enable students to develop fimiliarity of the concept by doing an

activity before they engage in it. As an example, with Stella students can use an interactive
computer program to proceed fully through a graph and they can repeat the activity whenever
they like. The other benefit of using stella are the student can stimulate the system over the time
and students are enable to creatively change the system to make their understanding about topics
they learn more strong and avoid them from having misconcept about the topics. This simulation
also teach students to look for relationship and clearly communicate system inputs and outputs
besides demonstrate the outcomes result. For example, the 3 graph for different parameter use to
look for the pattern of the result outcomess. From the three graphs, it shown that using computer
simulation also can make student easily to make prediction about the population of the prey-
predators. This is because, when the students run the experiment so many times, they will have
the ideas about the pattern. So, student will easily can predict the next result of the graph.

Graph of Simulation

Normal Graph
Manipulated owl and rat

Manipulated owl only


Simulation is suitable to be used in the school because it can motivate students in learning.
Simulation motivate students by keeping them actively engaged in the learning process through
requiring that problem solving and decision making skills be used to make the simulation run. As
the simulation runs, it is modelling a dynamic system in which the learner is involved. Thus,
participation in simulations enables students to engage in systems thinking and enhances their
understanding of systems as well as of science concepts. Simulation will increase student critical
thinking by analysis and interpret data using Stella software. Simulation also can enhance student
to conduct experiment.


Rogheyeh Eskrootchi and G. Reza Oskrochi. (2010). A Study of the Efficacy of Project-based
Learning Integrated with Computerbased. , 236–245.

Slide share. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/farhana25/modelling-and-


J. Banks; J. Carson; B. Nelson; D. Nicol (2001). Discrete-Event System Simulation. Prentice

Hall. p. 3. ISBN 0-13-088702-1.

Sokolowski, J.A.; Banks, C.M. (2009). Principles of Modeling and Simulation. Hoboken, NJ:
Wiley. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-470-28943-3.

What is Simulation (2014, July 1). Retrieved from http://www.ist.ucf.edu/background.htm

STELLA (Systems Thinking for Education and Research). Retrieved from


Stella software ( 2016, March 4). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stella_(software)

Simulation. (2018, April 20). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation