Learning Simulations

Technology and more wide-spread understanding that people learn best by doing shines a bright light on new, more simulation-focused products and services. Much of this work is rooted in experiential learning but now with a techno-twist.

This document reviews the field, it’s major lessons and tools you might want to look at given your objectives and industry.

Overview of learning simulations
Any good books and articles about Simulations?
Organizations that focus on this stuff?
Who’s building simulation tools?
Simulations have been used to help people learn for over 50 years in industries such as pilot education and firefighting.

Simulation covers many different types of environments that simulate the real world. Online simulations run the gamut from highly complex mathematical models to soft skills development tools. Some mix with real-world, live rehearsal that follows online learning programs. There seems to be something for everyone these days. For that reason, you’ll find a little bit of everything here. As the industry matures, so will this document.

Any good books or magazines about Simulations?
Michael Schrage’s new book Serious Play focuses on the value of prototypes and simulations in business. Outstanding!

Simulation: Virtual Business Experience www.simulations.co.uk/VIRTUAL.HTM

The Simulation Excyclopedia www.raczynski.com/pn/encyk.htm

Simulation & Gaming: An International Journal of Theory, Practice, and Research

Articles and other resources on Simulations?
Sim Resource is a mega-source of simulations to buy and sell. www.simresource.com

Article from Purdue University about their Simulation environment www.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/9811.Lundstrom.hub.html

Simulations Get Real by Tom Barron. Technology Training Magazine. Nov/Dec 99.

Virtual Driving: Computerized simulators let student bus drivers climb behind the wheel before they hit the road. By Matt Wetzel

In Simulations, Reality Is Optional. July 1999, TRAINING Magazine. (v36 n7 p18)

Simulation: Reach Out and Touch Some Training Sarah Auerbach, June 1999, Inside Technology Training (v3 n6 p8)

Start up your own start-upBusiness simulation game is a little too much like work. By Liane Gouthro. PC World, 06/09/00

Jeremy Hall’s Simulations Site

Casestudy from Powersim with Hydro Agri Europe & British Telecomm http://www.powersim.com/solution/employee.htm

Organizations that focus on this stuff?
Association for Business Simulations & Experiential Learning (ABSEL)
Mailing List www.towson.edu/absel/listserv.html is an American based association “whose purpose is to develop and promote the use of experiential techniques, simulations and assessment in the field of business education and development” It is very focussed towards business simulation and especially computerized simulations. It has a strong academic bias.

SIGSIM ACM Special Interest Group on Simulation www.acm.org/sigsim/

International Simulation and Gaming Association
Mailing List www.egroups.com/subscribe/ISAGA
ISAGA is a virtual international organization for scientists and practitioners developing and using gaming, simulations and related methodologies (computerised simulation, policy exercises, role-play, experiential exercises, play, case studies, structured experiences, game theory, operational gaming). The aim of the association is to enhance and stimulate the development, application and use of these methods in the social, human and technological domains throughout the world.

North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA)

SGX – Simulation/Gaming eXchange
The Internet Clearinghouse for Simulation/Gaming Resources

JASAG – Japan Association of Simulation and Gaming http://jasag.bcasj.or.jp/

SIETAR-USA Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research www.sietarinternational.org/

EUROSIM Federation of Europrean Simulation Societies http://ws3.atv.tuwien.ac.at/eurosim/

Context is a National Centre and Network for promoting the use of case materials and simulations in higher education and employment. We are funded by The Partnership Trust and co-ordinated by The University of Leeds with the Careers Research Advisory Centre. Context has been established with the aim of promoting the use of case materials in higher education and employment. Case materials are designed to meet the needs of students for group working, decision making and experience of work. They are based as closely as possible on real work situations and issues (in business, government and the voluntary sector). We are looking towards employers to help us develop materials and promote their use. http://context.tlsu.leeds.ac.uk/index.asp

ORS Operational Research Society www.orsoc.org.uk/home.html

OzSAGA Australian Simulation and Games Association www.education.uts.edu.au/ozsaga/

SCS Society for Computer Simulation www.scs.org

SIGIS Società Italiana dei Giochi di Simulazione http://brezza.iuav.unive.it/~sigis/

SAGSET The Society for the Advancement of Games and Simulations in Education and Training http://graph.ms.ic.ac.uk/sagset/

Who’s building simulation tools?
Listed below are the companies creating online simulations today. This list isn’t yet ordered or sorted in any way. Instead, it’s a list of what we know about. Over time we’ll qualify and describe if you are interested.

Cognitive Arts (commercial arm of Roger Schank’s work): www.cognitivearts.com

EduSim: www.edusim.net

Change at work www.changeatwork.com (custom)

Management By Experience: www.mbe-simulations.com

Ninth House Network: www.ninthhouse.com is a company we’ve followed for several years because of their innovative approach to simulation-based professional and leadership development.

Institute for Learning Sciences (Roger Schank’s department at NWU) www.ils.nwu.edu

Learning Insights (mostly finance-related, case-based learning): www.learninginsights.com

Learning Productions www.learningproductions.com

PowerSim (creator of the Beer Game): www.powersim.com

Strategic Management Group (SMG) http://phl.smginc.com/smginc/smg/index.html

Thinkingtools: www.thinkingtools.com. Think2000 is a business risk management simulation that uses what they call Agent Based Adaptive Simulation technology. Pretty interesting!

Stock Market Game (for kids): www.smg2000.org

Leapfrog Innovations: www.teamdevelopment.com/programs_simulations.htm

BizWorld Online: www.bizworld.org

Knowledge Universe Interactive Studio is rumored to be doing something in this area. www.kuis.com

Allen Communication’s proprietary free-play simulation engine is just beginning to get some press. www.allencomm.com/about/press/3rel4_22.html

DigitalThink: www.digitalthink.com

Optimal Negotiator’s Online Learning: www.optimal-negotiator.com

Sigma Interactive: www.sigmainteractive.com

Kurtz Ferbhout software (Garden with Insight) www.kurtz-fernhout.com

Powersim: www.powersim.com

Spark Learning www.sparklearning.com

PSGA www.pcga.org/technolo.htm

Games 2 Learn www.games2learn.com

Interpretive Software www.interpretive.com

The Shared Vision Alliance created the Equine Business Experience www.sharedvisionalliance.com

Micro Business Publications (Management Accounting Simulations) www.microbuspub.com

Team Development Simulations www.teamdevelopment.com/programs_simulations.htm

Jerald Smith’s Business Simulation’s http://home.att.net/~simulations/simhome.htm

Systems Modeling www.sm.com

Andersen Consulting’s Change Management Practice creates simulations. www.ac.com After searching their website, we found little mention of this. If you find more, let us know!

There are university simulations, too. One interesting one is: www.humboldt.edu/~envecon/e309sim.htm (the mathematical type)

Know of other simulation resources? Let us know.


Here you’ll find information and resources for anyone getting started in the training field.


Have fun with SodaPlay

Go to info on learning from experience

Go to info on training exercises

Get an overview of eLearning

Learning & Training FAQs

Off Line Simulations

While online simulations are getting the attention, here is information there are offline simulations too. Here are a few.

www.learninglandsc apes.com.

HRDQ offers simulation-type exercies including “Beyond the Valley of the Kindg” and “Black Bear.” Search on Simulations.

Thiagi has all sorts of neat exercises and games on their website.

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