Modelling and simulation: helping students acquire this skill using a Stock and Flow approach with MathBench
Karsai, Istvan, Thompson, Katerina V., Nelson, Karen C.
Computational and modelling skills are vital to most fields of biological research, yet traditional biology majors have no or little opportunity to develop these skills during their undergraduate education. We describe an approach, which can address this issue by a synergy of online resources called MathBench modules and Stock and Flow modelling. Using a step-by-step method starting with a MathBench ‘bootcamp’, we were able to achieve a significant gain in quantitative skills of students with no previous experience with model building. At the end of the course, the students were able to construct and analyse complex models and gained confidence in mathematical skills.