Simulations: Experiential Learning Tools
Have you heard of learning to drive using simulators? Simulations as you know allow us to imitate real-world activities and processes in a safe environment. They provide an experience as close to real activity with the added advantage of unlimited practice. With the reset option learner can approach a situation with different strategies. The use of simulation in education and training started in aviation training and medical field due to safety and cost considerations. The medical field is one of the fastest growing area for usage of simulations
Survey by the Association of American Medical Colleges found that more than 80% of medical colleges use simulations during the 4 years of studies. Today simulations are used in almost every discipline.
Simulations as Learning Tools
Instructional simulations have the potential to engage students in deep learning.
Deep learning empowers understanding as opposed to surface learning which deals with memorization. Through simulations, a learner learns to reflect on and extend knowledge by active exploration and by using problem solving approach. In a simulated environment, the learner is compelled to react to a situation or a problem. As a result the user:
- garners higher interest through engaging participation
- develops critical thinking, imagination, and creativity
- connects real-life phenomena to underlying concepts
- tests decision-making skills in “Cause and Effect” type of simulations (Learning from mistakes)
- builds proficiency in “Try Yourself” type of simulations
Instructional Theory behind simulations
It is based Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience. Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience is a model that incorporates several theories related to instructional design and learning processes. During the 1960s, Edgar Dale theorized that learners retain more information by what theydo as opposed to what theyhear, read, or observe. Today, thislearning by doing is known asexperiential learning.
Steps to create a simulation
Apply ADDIE Model to create
Analyze learning objectives for the simulation
Identify one or more scenarios that can be explored by the users to complete the desired learning objectives.
- Analysis Phase: Select the concepts
Design which is responsive and devise agnostic
- Design Phase Describe the logic to be used for working of the control
Simulations are recommended to be used by a learner as self-learning tools to bridge learning gaps and reinforce concepts. . The free-play simulations can also be used by teachers as teaching aids for effective guided learning, scenario-based learning and reinforcement sessions.
- Development: Create a sb, wireframe, Develop
- Evaluation: Test out on real students