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.

Finally! The simulation is in motion. You’ve

– set the model

– set the roles

– identified the tasks

– demonstrated the process

– connected it to the students’ learning needs and expectations

And now the students take charge of their own learning . I guess that means that you can “go home” or do a crossword puzzle at your desk. Read the rest of this entry »


The simulation is ready to go.

As any good facilitator, everything has been planned for. Participants are primed. Process is clear. Now it’s ready for action.

So start it already while also realizing that  now it is important to understand your own role in a good simulation experience.

There are at least two choices for you as simulation leader and here I steal, I forget from whom, the “Guide on the Side Versus the Sage on the Stage” mindset that every teacher must self-confront. Are you a facilitative instructor or are you a directive instructor?

The easy one to discuss is the latter and most likely, if you subscribe to the paradigm that you are Information – Giver Supreme, AKA “Sage on the Stage” you would have been hard pressed in the first place to have decided to use a published let alone to have designed a simulation. But assuming that for one reason or another you have come this far it’s really critical that you consciously recognize the role you will mean to play as the simulation kicks into gear. Read the rest of this entry »


Two teaspoons of task – tenacity plus

A cup of organization skills plus

Three tablespoons of communication plus

A half cup of creative thinking plus

A pound of collaborative skills!

Look at your students / learners. Let them form their own groups or use the recipe above? I say for the most part you and they are better served by your using the recipe! Most every group in a simulation needs individuals with a variety of skills and dispositions to make the process run smoothly. Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve carefully developed all the dimensions of your simulation, with one possible exception:

– What are your learning goals?. Seems pretty obvious doesn’t it but curiously I’ve seen many a simulation, commercially prepared and otherwise, that doesn’t exactly know what the simulation is intended to do for its participants. Worse, I’ve seen too many teachers pick something off the shelf and just use it because it “might” meet their goals. Ecch.

There can be two ways to do this: One would be developing your goals beforehand. You know, the good old-fashioned way. The second way would be inside out, that is, pilot the simulation once or twice and through observation and debriefing, sift out what learning goals the simulation appears to be most productive for. Read the rest of this entry »

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.


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: Read the rest of this entry »