Simulations and the Future of Learning offers trainers and educators the information and perspective they need to understand, design, build, and deploy computer simulations for this generation. Looking back on his recent first-hand experience as lead designer for an advanced leadership development simulation, author Clark Aldrich has created a detailed case study of the creation and deployment of an e-learning simulation that had the development cycle of a modern computer game. With this book Aldrich, a leader in the e-learning field, has created an intriguing roadmap for the future of learning while taking us along on an entertaining rollercoaster ride of trial and error, success and failure. Simulations and the Future of Learning outlines the design principles and critical decisions around any simulation's components— the interface, the physics and animation systems, the artificial intelligence, and sets and figures. Using this accessible resource, readers will learn how to create and evaluate successful simulations that have the following characteristics: authentic and relevant scenarios; applied pressure situations that tap user's emotion and force them to act; a sense of unrestricted options; and replayability.
Infotainment and Evangelism
By Gregory Evans - October 25, 2004
High profile e-learning industry analyst Clark Aldrich became disenchanted with the yawning gap between the promise of e-learning and the reality. Attracted by the potential application of computer gaming techniques for training simulation purposes, he quit his job with the Gartner Group and joined a project team attempting to design a computer-based leadership development simulation. The result was Simulearn's Virtual Leader. Aldrich's book recounts the experience in this book.
Despite the promise of the title, the book is a curious mix of speculation, case study, and product promotion. Aldrich provides accessible frameworks for thinking about the underlying design considerations for the development of simulations, and some useful insights into the analysis of content and development of simulation architecture. Yet the book is not a tool kit or primer for would-be designers - the advice is rarely actionable - nor is it a deep study of the concepts and application of... read more
Heroic Journey to find the Holy Grail of E-learning
By K. Sampanthar "Inventor of ThinkCube" - January 24, 2004
This book addresses a very interesting subject and one that is near and dear to my heart. How does a generation, who spent their childhood playing games, react to linear learning? This generation has overcome the linear educational system and is now in the workforce facing the myriad of training courses provided by companies. Are these courses any more adequate than schools and university courses to teach a generation who are used to complex and immersive learning environments? Anybody who has ever played a computer/video game will realize that they are learning some very complex skills and actually enjoying it! Obviously most of theses skills being learned don't seem to be very useful anywhere outside the game, but the realization that learning is happening is one that has some fundamental implications to the future of education. All learning should be as fun as games and that has been the holy grail of e-learning.Clark Aldrich takes us on his own very personal journey from his... read more
Learning as Gourmet Fare
By Jay Cross - November 11, 2003
Clark Aldrich has written a personal story about developing a new genre of leadership development program. He takes you along for the ride as he becomes disenchanted with eLearning, quits a prestige job to find a better way, surmounts numerous hurdles, and ends up with Virtual Leader, a product you can buy today. Unlike most books on learning, Clark's is well written and witty; it's fun to read. "What would the world be like if eLearning truly worked?" If eLearning could bestow understanding and the ability to control things, the training organization would be more important than the lawyers. I'd be bragging about last night's learning experience. Of course, eLearning has not lived up to its potential. It's mainly virtual classrooms and online workbooks. The lessons have been degraded to the lowest common denominators of bandwidth, packaging standards, and generality. eLearning is sometimes no more than the pre-reading in a "blended" solution.There is an exception: the... read more
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