Improving problem solving and creativity through use of complex-dynamic simulations

Robert D Tennyson, Klaus Breuer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This article presents an instructional method to improve problem solving and creativity by employing computer-based simulations. The instructional method described is based upon empirical research conducted by the authors. The simulation presents contextually meaningful problem situations that require learners to analyze and prepare solution proposal(s). Following the learner input, the simulation assesses the proposal and offers back to the learners the consequences of their decisions while also iteratively updating the situational conditions. This type of simulation, unlike conventional simulations that are used for acquisition of knowledge, is complex-dynamic, requiring the learner to fully employ their knowledge base by constructing solutions to domain-specific problems. The focus of complex-dynamic simulations is to improve and elaborate learner cognitive abilities employed in the service of problem solving and creativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-668
Number of pages19
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002


  • Cognitive strategies
  • Creativity
  • Knowledge base
  • Problem solving
  • Simulations
  • System dynamics
  • Thinking strategies

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