Saturday, November 4, 2017

Can open-ended online simulations be customized for content?

Earlier, we shared  elements of simCEO that make it a unique way that technology can change learning. Namely it provides:

1) Students who move beyond recall and produce solutions with content.
2) Social Learning: Learning from and with one another.
3) Contextual Learning: Authentic roles & goals

These are transformational goals and they do not come easily. There are challenges, and we want to be up front with those challenges. Do we have tested solutions to overcome all of these challenges? Not yet .  

That's why we are looking for partners who can help us overcome these challenges. We believe deeply they can be solved, and they need to be solved. But we want to attract the right kind of partner. With that in mind, we have come to Part 3 of our 4-Part series we call:

The list of reasons you should be hesitant partner with us.

Can we deliver an open-ended experience that allows instructors to easily customize it to meet student needs?  

Most simulations (and online learning resources in general) are intended as plug-n-play experiences. They are created by experts with pre-defined educational outcomes. The educator is the user, but in most cases has minimal ability to adapt or tailor the learning experience to match his students’ needs.  Open-ended simulations offer both a challenge and an opportunity.

While simCEO can be played as a plug-n-play experience, the power of simCEO comes alive as instructors customize the experience by integrating it with their current units of study focusing on students’ application (not recall) of specific concepts and skills. Instructors can customize the content and complexity to target student interests and learning goals  by selecting or creating customized business plan elements, adding news articles/resources to define a context, and, if desired, influence share prices based on students’ (in)actions. This creates a new model of learning for instructors – one that excites early adopters but increases barriers of implementation for instructors expecting an experience that does not solicit instructor-influence.

  • Do instructors want (or expect) the ability to customize their online learning tools?
  • Can the user-experience around this new model of learning be more effectively structured to ease adoption in the classroom?  
  • Can we provide instructors the support to easily customize online, open-ended learning experiences in a way target student needs?

This is certainly a challenge. We seek partners who can assist us in developing an effective model to encourage and easily allow instructors to shape the learning experiences they give to their students.