It's too easy to point out Confucius' saying that ends with "I do and I understand". But it's also true! Learners must be highly involved in experiential teaching strategies to be successful 21st century citizens.

Your model is clear. The issues for action and decision are clear. Your participants have clearly recognized and taken their roles. You’re ready to turn your would-be presidents, generals, captains of industry, peasants, slaves, kings, buyers, sellers loose.

Almost.

But not yet.

If you mean to make sure that the simulation’s sequence will work smoothly both for your educational goals and for your students’ high involvement at least two points must be kept in the planning-mind:

– prepare all your materials and guides very specifically for your participants so that they know exactly what they must do; and

– if possible, do a model run-through.

Prepare your materials as if you were writing out a how-to guide for a chimpanzee who can read (I do not wish to ridicule our simian cousins). By this I mean,

* Identify the simulation’s goals

* Identify the goals for each participant and / or group

* Create your materials, e.g. tokens, money, record sheets, contracts, treaties, etc. so that the participants can easily connect them with their assigned tasks.

* Spell out, designate, specify, how the simulation will be “quantified”, that is, for want of a better term, show how you can add up and / or determine how you will be able to designate a “winner” if applicable and / or how the simulation will end.

* Review, Review, Review before moving forward! This brings us to the second point:

Do a model run-through! This isn’t always possible but if you can, try to design a rehearsal of sorts, a mini-enactment of the sequence. And like a play rehearsal doing so enables the participants to get a more hands on feel for their responsibilities and more importantly, enables you to troubleshoot any confusion that you see they may have so that when you take your simulation to Broadway, it’s ready to go!

Next post, let’s talk about sequence – dynamics!

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