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Educational simulations create a virtual and interactive environment. Participants learn while running through this simulated process or series of events. Being part of the simulation the participant has to take decisions using both new concepts and previous experiences. The virtual and interactive environment is either created with the help of computers or by individual impersonating a certain role (e.g. CEO, client). Simulations range from an almost complete reproduction of reality (e.g. flight simulator) to simulations of situations using roleplay (e.g. emergency scenario simulations). A similar concept is used by educational (board) games, however in this case the environment is not interactive and games often focus more on the competitive aspect

You will need


  • Supporting materials (probably ranging from reference books to note pads and flipcharts)
  • If you are working with a fully computerized simulation, you have to ensure that sufficient computers are available and you also might want to think about alternative content, should the simulation programme run into difficulties. 

Benefits and limitations


  • participants see the bigger picture
  • participants practice decision making, team working and problem solving skills
  • application of theory into (simulated) practice
  • Student centred approach
  • Engaging, motivating, usually have fun aspect
  • Parallel learning of subject and team/management skills


  • preparation time to set-up simulation
  • The learning experiences vary from the decisions taken, thus leaning outcomes might be different for each individual
  • Simulations usually give a good overview of a field but do not go into details

What do I actually do as an instructor/facilitator?

Preparation / before class

You need to analyse which aspects of the situation you will include in simulate and how they are simulated. You need to decide whether to use a fully computerised simulation, a mix between computerised simulation and role-play or a series of events and role play.

Implementation / during class

The teacher-facilitator creates a safe open-minded environment set for finding solutions for challenges participants are experiencing, he gives feedback on team interactions and one’s own behaviour in the group.
The teacher-subject matter experts guides the team on content and explains the technical aspects of the involved disciplines.

There are no use cases available for "Simulation".

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Peer-reviewed publications

  • Distinguishing between games and simulations: A systematic review. Educational Technology & Society, 10 (3), 247-256. Sauvé, L., Renaud, L., Kaufman, D., & Marquis, J. S. (2007).


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