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Friday, September 24, 2010

Different Types of Educational Simulations and What They Teach

Here is a table from Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning (shown below) that describes several different types of simulations, provides examples and indicates the type of knowledge generally taught with that type of simulation.

Knowledge Taught
Physical Procedures Simulator
A simulated object, piece of equipment or machine. It works and functions like the actual physical device.
Procedural, operation of equipment or machinery
Software Emulation
Simulated software that works and function in a fashion similar to the software that it is teaching or emulating.
Procedural, software features and functionality.
Operational Simulator
Simulates common procedures used within an organization that are to software or object based or that contains some elements of both.
Procedural, proper steps for completing a desired task.
Principle-based Simulator (Social Simulator)
Situation in which the learner is placed into an environment in which he or she must interact. Environment changes based on learners actions.
Principles, soft skills, skills used when interacting with people
                                                  Problem-Solving Simulator
Learner is presented with a new problem he or she must solve. There is not a single method or process for solving the problem confronting the learner, multiple avenues are available for solving the problem.
Problem-solving., confronted with a new problem you must solve
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