Simulations Essay

1590 Words7 Pages

"What I hear, I forget; what I see, I remember; what I do, I understand."
Confucius, 451 BC


As young children, we all learn by doing. Toddlers learn to walk on their own with their parents standing by as guides, providing a safe environment that makes it possible for the child to learn. When a child enters the "formal education" system, unfortunately this rich environment of learning by doing often disappears. The education system is still stuck in the industrial age with classrooms more often designed for teaching rather than for learning purposes.

To return to the learning by doing stage, enter simulations. A simulation is an instructional strategy that offers the opportunity to learn in a
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A well-designed simulation meets all of John Keller’s goals in the ARCS model (attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction). It presents a problem to be solved, allows the learner to make choices, shows the consequences of those choices, and builds confidence in the learner when the problem is mastered.

There are five major characteristics of simulations:

Simulations are problem-based units of learning that are set in motion by a particular task, issue, policy, crisis, or problem. The problems to be addressed by the participant may be either implicit or explicit, depending on the nature of the simulation. The issues inherent in the simulation are not textbook problems or questions in which answers are cut and dried and determined quickly. Participants carry out functions associated with their roles and the settings in which they find themselves. The outcomes of the simulation are not determined by chance or luck. Instead, participants experience consequences that follow from their own actions. Participants experience reality of function to the extent that they fulfill their roles conscientiously and in a professional manner, executing all the rights, privileges and responsibilities associated with the role.

(Grendler, 1994).

Debriefing after a simulation is one of the most
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