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The graduate student group reflected not only on the decisions they made, but also on what they learned through their participation in the simulation:

“It really made me stop and think about what I would do if I were in this situation. I’m not sure my decision was a popular one and it may cause some tension amongst staff and students, but I liked the way the simulation made you think about your decision and then your next decision is based upon your first decision.”

“I learned a valuable lesson with this activity and that is to remember to go through the proper chain of command. Also I will seek advice before making a final decision.”

The simulation process

As was the case in their analysis of the simulation decisions, both study groups had a similar response to the simulation process itself. Respondents, regardless of their administrative experience, favorably discussed the realism afforded by the technology:

The simulation was very real. My feelings during the process were the same as if the actors were in my presence.”

Responses about the process of participating in the simulation were overwhelmingly positive and supportive. While occasional technical suggestions were made, all participants labeled their participation in the simulation as “valuable”, “realistic”, and “educational”.

Both study groups, most often through observations about the highly engaging nature of the activity itself, discussed the positive instructional applications of the simulation experience:

“I felt engaged throughout the simulation. The video and interactive nature was much more motivating than just reading a case study and responding. It provided immediate feedback on my decisions and reinforced my choice or forced me to question my decision. The experience was very thought provoking.”

“The product is a good catalyst for discussion that should lead to in depth research into things like board policies, community history, communication skills and the change process.”

“I thought the outcomes resulting from my decisions were realistic and thought provoking. This is an excellent training tool.”

“This exercise was addictive. It was fascinating to find out what happened at every turn.”

As in the responses about the decisions made discussed previously, the graduate student group also provided additional reflections on the simulation process, relating that it was more difficult, uncomfortable, and stressful than anticipated:

“I felt capable of making decisions with the information provided, but I felt this situation to be more stressful when real characters express their concerns through personal attack.”

“Very hard decisions were thrown at me! It was uncomfortable, yet a teachable moment. At times I wanted to be able to press the back button on my browser to change my answer – I did not enjoy the consequences.”

“I felt it was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated.”

Perhaps most significantly, the graduate student respondents often discussed the manner in which the simulation provided them with new insights beyond what a typical classroom might offer.

“It’s amazing how your decisions affect others. I felt like I was under extreme pressure. Just like in real life it is hard to know how people will respond to certain things.”

“The situations really made me think about what I would do and the decisions made me realize that not everyone is going to react like I had thought.”

“I felt very uncomfortable, but because the situation was not “real” there was some safety in the decision making process. However, I did not want to make a bad decision because my integrity was “on the line.” Even though it was not real, it certainly carried the same emotional effect.”


Clearly respondents in the study very positively perceived both the simulation product and the experience itself. Administrators with experience and those in-training found the virtual decision making exercise to be an effective replication of the type of administrative decisions encountered in today’s schools. Additionally, both groups had high praise for the use of simulation participation as an effective instructional tool.

This positive reaction raises some interesting notions for further study. Did study participants find the simulation experience to be a positive one because of the strength of the simulation scenario and production value alone? In other words, would participants still view simulations as a highly effective learning experience regardless of their quality or content?

It is important to maintain the linkage between the two conclusions found in this study as we consider the need for high expectations in the construction of instructional simulations. Once upon a time, the notion of showing a video to a class was considered a “cutting edge” instructional approach, regardless of the nature or quality of the video. The content and scope of the simulation must always meet or exceed the inherent appeal of this new technology. While there is an initial appeal to participating in a simulation experience, the instructional nature of the simulation itself will be the final indicator of its effectiveness as a classroom tool.


Deep learning, surface learning. (1993, April). American Association for Higher Education Bulletin . 45(8), 10-13.

Finkel, D. L. (2000). Teaching with your mouth shut . Portsmouth: Heinemann Boynton Cook Publishers.

Greenblat (1981). Teaching with Simulation Games: A review of Claims and Evidence. In: Duke, Richard E.&Greenblat, Cathy (1981)(eds.). Principles of practice of gaming-Simulation . London: Sage Publications.

Hertel, J.P.,&Millis, B.J. (2002). Using simulations to promote learning in higher education: An introduction. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Kowalski, T. J. (2008). Case studies on educational administration (5 th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.

Rhem, J. 1995. >Deep/surface approaches to learning: An introduction. The National Teaching and Learning Forum 5(1): 1–4., 2 www.ntlf.com/html/pi/9512/article2.htm .

Types of social simulations . (n.d.). Retrieved from NexLearn website: http://www.nexlearn.com/?q=node/8

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Education leadership review, volume 12, number 1 (april 2011). OpenStax CNX. Mar 26, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11285/1.2
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