FocusSupporting learning with (typically simplified) simulations of complex real-world situations
- Knowledge is … scope of possible actions and interpretations
- Knowing is … applying
- Learner is … an inquirer (individual)
- Learning is … investigating
- Teaching is … structuring experiences
SynopsisA type of Active Learning or Inquiry-Based Learning, Simulation-Based Learning aims to support learner understanding through engagements with simulations of phenomenon under study. A simulation is reflective of a real-world situation in which operations must be conducted and decisions must be made. It typically omits distracting variables and irrelevant information, as it channels learner attention to and affords user control over critical aspects of the situation. Currently, it is most often encountered in adult-learning settings, and it has been used widely in medical, aviation, and military education. Specific types of Simulation-Based Learning include:
- Reality-Based Training (RBT) – a type of Simulation-Based Learning, typically employing highly realistic scenarios and aimed at developing rapid and accurate responses. RBT is an especially common element in training programs for high-stakes roles, such as pilots, soldiers, and first responders.
CommentaryCriticisms of Simulation-Based Learning are typically focused on issues associated with effective implementation. Prominent concerns revolve around avoiding oversimplification of complex matters while ensuring that novice learners are able to engage meaningfully, establish goals, and verbalize insights.
Authors and/or Prominent InfluencesRobert Glaser; Ton de Jong
Status as a Theory of LearningSimulation-Based Learning is not a theory of learning, although it is explicit about the theories of learning that it invokes.
Status as a Theory of TeachingSimulation-Based Learning is a theory of structuring experiences to influence learning, rendering it a theory of teaching in our analysis.
Status as a Scientific TheorySimulation-Based Learning is a rapidly developing domain, as strategies evolve alongside supportive technologies. It is already associated with a significant body of research, and it is grounded in established and validated theories of learning.
- Reality-Based Training (RBT)
Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2022). “Simulation-Based Learning” in Discourses on Learning in Education. https://learningdiscourses.com.
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