Educational simulations imitate a real scenario, process, activity, or state of affairs. Participation in a simulation requires the student to perform specific tasks that emulate real life situations or scenarios.
Application to All Courses
- Instructors can evaluate student decision making skills.
- Students can be evaluated in the context of real world scenarios.
- Students can modify behaviors based on simulation feedback and results.
- Student errors are easily corrected.
- Simulations provide students with activities that encourage solving realistic problems using previously learned knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
- Students can formulate and test their own hypotheses and processes to solve problems.
- Simulations provide students with active, discovery learning activities.
- Learning is shifted from a teacher-centered approach to a student-centered approach.
- Students use problem-solving, decision-making, and analytical skills.
Real World Considerations:
- Potentially dangerous situations and scenarios can be emulated with simulations.
- High cost experiments and scenarios can be conducted via simulation.
- View the Simbasin Game in which students experiment in a simulated river basin to assess land use and how it affects flooding.
There are many simulations available for free on the internet. There are also many simulations available for purchase, for example, through Harvard Business.
- Teaching with Simulations: The Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College’s pedagogy page on simulations.
- The Potential of Games and Simulations in Higher Education: Guest blog post on the Next Generation Learning Challenges site.
- Simulation Technologies in Higher Education: Uses, Trends, and Implications: Educause article about simulation in higher education.
- Computer Simulations in Distance Education: An article from the Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning discussing current research on computer simulations.
- Use of Computer Simulations Distance Education An article discussing simulations in distance education including uses, problems, and effectiveness.
- Wikipedia – Simulation: Detailed explanation and examples of simulations including a section on simulations in education.
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Keep accessibility in mind as you develop course content and build assignments and assessments. Many online tools are not fully accessible, so it’s important to think about how you will make the assignment accessible if requested. The Disability Resource Center and the UF Accessibility page will guide you in making appropriate accommodations. You can also find out more about accessibility at our toolbox page on Accessibility in the Online Classroom.