“Try Me” Simulations – Effective Teaching and Learning Tools

Let’s assume you have to learn How to Balance Work and Life.

What would you prefer?

(1) An elearning course with lots of scenarios from day to day life and that also gives tips on how to manage work and life.

(2) Read interviews of famous business men and learn how they manage work and life.

(3) Watch a documentary movie on how to balance work and life.

(4) Play a game where you identify your self with a female character and take charge of her life and help her take lots of decisions to solve family problems, develop her career while she maintains her health and social life.

If I have to choose, I would opt for the last option.

Sometime back I played the game called Ciao Bella. “In this fun game, you take on the role of Elena, a young woman faced with a vast number of decisions to make. You’ll need to solve the innumerable catastrophes that arise in the lives of her friends and family, help her develop her own career, and maintain a stable and loving relationship with her boyfriend, Elio ! ” (source:http://www.bigfishgames.com/downloads/ciaobella/index.html)

I enjoyed playing every moment of this game. You change the outcome of the game by taking ample decisions. The first level of this game gives you three days time to help Eleana solve a family problem, earn enough money , keep herself fit and beautiful so that she can impress her boyfriend. You need to strategize in such a way that Eleana balances work and life and pleases her boyfriend.

Failure to to do this results in Eleana’s boyfriend breaking up with her. When you play this game for the first time you are sure to mess up. You might end up making Eleana work a lot or ignore her social life or physical fitness. It took me three attempts to complete the first level where I succeeded in helping her balance everything in her life.

In the process I learnt to strategize. Apart from that I learnt the important things in life and I learnt how you cannot ignore any of them.

I am sure no text book could have taught me this important lesson.

I liked Ciao Bella very much because it’s a simulation. Above all its a TRY ME Simulation. I have always loved TRY ME simulations for the simple reason that they are very effective when it comes to teaching and learning.

I my next post I shall explain :

  • What is a Simulation in Instructional Designing
  • Explain the difference between SHOW ME and TRY ME simulations
  • Give examples for simulations

Watch out my next few posts to learn all about simulations.

Meanwhile try playing these games to get a taste of simulations:

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