“If you tell me, I will listen. If you show me, I will see. But if you let me experience, I will learn.”
The market for E-learning is ever growing and there are clear indications that it would continue to grow tremendously in the future. The concept of E-learning has revolutionized the whole system of education and training. With ever increasing demand of innovation in the field of content development and authoring tools to make the learning more interactive, effective and productive. The integration of simulation in E-learning has taken a major leap. When we talk about simulation in E-learning content development, we emphasize on the content and training modules with engagement and interactive approach towards the whole process of E-learning. Where the learners are given ample opportunities to participate at all the diverse levels of learning with more participation and freedom to experience the training on a wider and effective level. The major challenge faced by the content developers is to devise and design the E-learning content to have maximum possibilities for hands on experimentation, where the learners get chance to maximize their learning by practically doing things and deriving conclusions.
The most critical contribution in the process of learning is offered through our senses. And the four critical stages forming the learning web are watching, thinking, feeling and doing. Among these senses the most important is learning while doing things on our own and that adds subtlety to the whole process of learning. In earlier E-learning course development the idea of interactivity was not given ample importance or sometimes this crucial aspect has been completely ignored but now with changing scenario and latest technological advancement the need for more extensive and exhaustive authoring tools are in demand. Putting up challenges to content experts or developers to have more intensive and interactive courseware. The simulations in E-learning bring the learners close to the real life situations. Where they relate to their past experiences and that helps them get the final outcome or the conclusion. Thus simulation in E-learning opens a horizon of doing and learning, in turn the training where the students are involved directly with their learning, keeps them motivated and involved as they play a decisive role in learning itself, instead of just being guided.
Simulations can be categorized depending on the level of complexity offered through instructions (Source: William Horton, 2000), they are as follows:
1.One shot Simulations: As the name says it all, these simulations are utilized for the courses offered for one time learning. The software and process training utilizes this type of simulation for the execution of courseware or training. The learners are given ample opportunity to learn while doing. And they are also provided with option of correcting mistakes and then moving forward through the ladder of learning and experimenting. This gives the learners ample space to do and redo in case of mistakes and the freedom and the ownership plays critical role in the process of training.
2.Simulations through examples: Under this category the simulations are provided in terms of situations. In turn creating enthusiasm to intervene and to determine and conclude the following relevant steps to take up the course to the next level. Every little step is crucial and critical for the final outcome. And the learners get the option of trying many times to get the required outcome. Which keeps them motivated and involved throughout the learning process. This type of simulation gives the learners an opportunity to think logically and derive conclusion cognitively.
- In this scenario learners listen, read or view about a situation, often describing the conflict between individuals.
- At every level the learners are offered with some choices to give them clue as to how to proceed.
- All the different choices pave the way for different outcomes and results.
- The outcomes would not be categorized into right and wrong but clear cut guidelines are offered to the learners to decide which route they want to follow and how they need to reach the conclusion. The real life examples help them to reach the conclusion in a more decisive way.
3. Microworlds: In this scenario the learners are offered a virtual representation of the real environment.
In this form of Simulation which is known as Microwords, the learners get an opportunity to physically interact with all the elements and learn from their experience.
The other striking discipline emerging is the Gamification, which uses game thinking. The software integrated with social psychology helps to develop programs that eventually enhance business prospects throughout the organization and almost all the industries. Simulations or business war games are used as powerful tools to aid decision making, improved strategic planning and foster enhanced team building and collaboration. These tools can be utilised over a wider range of fields such as strategic development, education,psychology and academic areas.
We at swift Elearning are at par with the current trends in the field of E-learning content development integrated with simulations. We have a team of highly skilled experts to develop E-learning content with simulations and Gamification.