From the website: “Instructional simulations have the potential to engage students in "deep learning" that empowers understanding as opposed to "surface learning" that requires only memorization.” The subject site uses pedagogical principles to illustrate the power of simulations to teachers. Bloom’s Taxonomy is apparent in the subject site’s descriptions of objectives.
The subject site demonstrates the advantages of using simulations from the standpoint of the educator/course designer.
From the website:
• the importance of model building.
• the relationships among variables in a model or models.
• data issues, probability and sampling theory.
• how to use a model to predict outcomes.
• actively engaging in student-student or instructor-student conversations needed to conduct a simulation.
• tranfering knowledge to new problems and situations.
• understanding and refining their own though processes.
• seeing social processes and social interactions in action.
Target Student Population:
This material can be used by educators and teacher candidates.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some knowledge of teaching pedagogy is useful.
Type of Material:
This information could be used by instructors to convert traditional lectures to a more interactive format.
Modern hardware and software; broadband access to the Internet; Flash; multimedia player.
Evaluation and Observation
Very detailed explanations of pedagogical foundations for using simulations. Case studies can be converted to simulations. Good links to pages containing references, related subjects.
All of the examples relate to economics
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Teachers who use this material should have a better understanding of the difference between the traditional "passive" style of teaching/learning and the simulation interactive style of teaching/learning.
Some teachers may find it difficult to use this material to develop content specific to their discipline because all of the examples relate to economics.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Very efficient and easy-to-use website illustrating best practices for simulations. The site under review is a small portion of a larger whole that deals with a variety of other teacher tools and concepts.
Other Issues and Comments:
The subject site is quite well designed. The advantages of using simulations are evident.