"The Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning ... describes cognitive process involved in learning from multimedia materials, suggesting that learners first select relevant visual and verbal information from the stimulus, organise that information into (a) coherent...mental representation, and then integrate these ... with prior knowledge." (Mayer, 2001).
Simulated activities would be an interactive way to conduct authentic assessment tasks, as well as using formative assessment at the beginning of a unit to gain an insight as to what the students already know.
The Queensland Department of Education and Training (2006) argue that assessment must involve "intellectually challenging and real-world learning experiences (which) will help all students to become life-long learners".
Animations and simulations are an interesting and exciting way to get all the students involved, work together and collaborate ideas.
Department of Education and Training (QLD). (2006). Curriculum: Learning, Teaching and Assessment. Queensland Government. [Electronic resource] (http://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/). Retrieved 17 August 2009.
Mayer, R.E. (2001). Multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge. Cited in Plass, J.L.; Homer, B.D. & Hayward, E.O. (2009). Design factors for educationally effective animations and simulations. US Government. [Electronic resource] (http://www.springerlink.com/content/d68013h371050043/fulltext.pdf). Retrieved 17 August 2008.