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Simulation Game (Didactic)

A reflection, based on the experiences of staff at a Polish teacher training centre, on the value of using simulation games and role play situations in entrepreneurial learning. Suggestions are given for how to design effective simulations and what to consider when using them with students. 

Purpose and process

Simulation games are a way to imitate and replicate reality, based on playing out certain roles. These roles are regulated by rules which exist in the real world. After the game is finished, students stop role playing and talk about the situations which took place. During this time, some students can be designated as observers and can give their classmates feedback.

The 4 stages of a simulation game:

  1. present the students with any vital information needed to start the game
  2. students take advantage of obtained information by verifying and adapting it to the requirements of the game
  3. they create new information and experience (the game in which the students participate gives them new information which helps in creating additional skills; these in turn enable them to continue the game)
  4. students apply prior experience and knowledge (stages 3 and 4 can be repeated).

Constructing a didactic game should consist of the following steps: 

  • describing the pedagogical goals of the game
  • specifying the players and how the game should progress
  • gathering the materials needed in order to create the game
  • making a script of the game, taking into account specific roles, adapting the elements of the game, planning a schedule and allocating time to the game in proportion to real time 
  • gathering the materials needed for players at the start (could also be a list of sources)
  • creating regulations and game instructions
  • checking if specific roles and goals are understandable
  • organising technical resources if required 
  • playing a trial game with neutral participants
  • creating a plan for discussing the game/debriefing the players once it has finished

Learning outcomes

It is very important that students learn both from 'winning' and from 'losing' in these situations. The goal of the simulation is to improve specific skills and to learn from mistakes made during these 'safe' exercises (rather than in real life) In turn, the experience can help students increase their knowledge, skills and efficiency. During training, faulty behaviour can be corrected and the right approach taken/repeated as many times as necessary, resulting in students gaining a high rate of efficiency.

Positive aspects of didactic games for students:

  • They can help increase efficiency in applying acquired information
  • They have a significant influence on creating appropriate attitudes
  • Students are effectively prepared for other practical activities
  • They develop student awareness, imagination and concentration
  • Participation enables one to practically apply acquired knowledge and skills
  • They can help make teaching more effective and are an attractive form of learning for many students
  • They can stimulate students to work in a team and also work independently.

Curricular or thematic relevance

Simulation games can be applied in any curricular context. 

How to organise:

Can be used in timetabled lessons or as part of an extra-curricular activity.

Provider country

Poland

Provider Institution:

, Teacher Training Center in Olsztyn  Poland

Website Address:

helper do TM detail body (June 6th, 1st half)

    Anders
10.06.2014

I do agree on the reflections, but again, where is the tool, I cant see any games or links? I think that the using games in education takes a lot of reflections on why we don't do things in a minor scale but do them for real.

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I do agree on the reflections, but again, where is the tool, I cant see any games or links? I think that the using games in education takes a lot of reflections on why we don't do things in a minor scale but do them for real.

Anders 10.06.2014

helper do TM detail right side (TM June 6th, 2nd half)


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