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Learning About Molecular Biology in a Multi-Agent Based Simulation Environment

JL. Aguirre Cervantes, F. Rechenmann, JH. Domínguez Sánchez

Proceedings of LEARNING WITH GAMES 2007, Sophia-Antipolis, France, September 2007


Molecular and cellular biology are domains where knowledge is constantly being generated posing the problem of training future specialists on the fundamental concepts of those disciplines. The use of tutoring systems to enhance learning in such areas has been barely exploited. We propose in this paper a tutoring tool for the simulation, study and understanding of the principal cellular processes and its interacting biological entities. In this tool, the students must reproduce a biological process interacting with a multi-agent based simulation environment. The principle is that to each biological entity we associate a computational agent, whose state is visualized by means of a dynamical icon. Knowledge about the biological process is described in an agent knowledge base, and a tutor agent is watching the student’s actions, producing feedback for the students. A prototype for a lesson about a simplified version of the DNA replication process is explained.