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Educational Games and Simulation Technol

Korogwe Teachers’ College
IT 0222: Educational Games & Simulation
Year II
Semester II
Dip. Ed (Sc, Maths, ICT)
Level 6
Mussa Msengi Gunda :::::: 0674 14 12 09 :::::: sirgunda@outlook.com
Why we use computer simulation in
• Computer simulation allows students to observe
and interact with a real-world.
• Computer-simulated experiment may be a good
substitute for a laboratory experience in the
teaching of some concepts (Winn et al., 2005).
• According to Mintz (1993), one of the most
promising computer applications in science
instruction is the use of simulations for teaching
material, which cannot be taught by traditional
Simulations Utilizing Technology
Simulations are one way to incorporate an innovative use of
technology into the learning environment.
• Technology is not needed for the creation or
administration of a simulation but technology can enhance
the overall presence and impact of the simulation for
• CD-ROMs, web-based tools, and/or desktop computer game
simulations are being used to support learning through realworld problems, cases, and scenarios.
• Technology capabilities provide opportunities for designing
innovative learning environments that allow for more
interactive, relevant, and effective application of the
• Technology also makes it easier to provide a compilation of
resources, tools, and experiences using real-world problems
and techniques to participate, interact, and manipulate
scenarios (Kirkley & Kirkley, 2005).
Advantages of Using Computer Simulation
Computer simulations have many advantages over
other instructional approaches and media.
• A well-designed computer simulation have a high
degree to facilitate and simplifying learning.
• Computer simulation provides students with
opportunities to observe certain processes that
happen too quickly or too slowly in real life (Akpan,
• Computer simulations can lead to learning transfer,
which means that learned knowledge is successfully
applied in real-world environments (Khoo & Koh,
Disadvantages of Using Computer Simulation
Computer simulations also have disadvantages in
comparison with other instructional methods.
• Computer simulation may be more time-consuming
than other instructional strategies since many
computer simulations concentrate on problem solving.
Without proper coaching, scaffolding, feedback, and
debriefing, the student learns little from the discovery
learning through simulations (Lunce, 2006).
• Some argue that educational simulations oversimplify
the complexities of real-life situations, giving the
learner an inaccurate understanding of a real-life
problem (Heinich, Molenda, Russell & Smaldino, 1999).
• In addition, development of educational simulations
may need a big investment of time, effort, and money
• An animation is a series of
moving images or a dynamic
visualization. An animation can
be used to represent output from
a system and can thus easily be
confused with a simulation.
What distinguishes an animation from a simulation is that it
does not meet one or both of the key features of a
1. There is a no model of a real or theoretical system behind the animation.
• In this case, the animation is more like a cartoon, it will not be accurate as
the speed and location of images is not calculated by a model.
• The animation cannot be altered to reflect a change in system conditions,
only responds to preset values.
2. There is no possibility of experimentation:
• According to Laurillard, there has been terminological confusion when
`simulation` is used to refer to a program that runs a model without any
input from the user – the program generates its own input to the model,
the user simply watches. This is certainly a simulation, but Laurillard
contends that since the usual usage within education is “interactive
simulation”, it is reasonable to reserve the term simulation for those, and
to relegate the non- interactive ones to the term “animation” or
“demonstration” as they could equally well be shown on the noninteractive medium of video.
• When the full capabilities of a simulation are not used, then it is
possible to turn a simulation into an animation or even the equivalent
of a video.
Example of Educational Simulation
1. ActivChemistry shown in next slide is an
example of an educational simulation of a
chemistry lab. It is a chemistry construction kit
providing the student with equipment and
materials such as Bunsen burners,
burners chemicals
and a wide variety of meters and gauges
gauges. Using
these components, students perform
experiments, gather and graph data or learn
about new concepts in interactive and dynamic
ActivChemistry. A virtual chemistry
set construction kit grounded in
chemistry theory.
ActivChemistry illustrates several advantages of the
use of simulation as compared with real equipment:
• Safety. It allows experiments to be done that
would be too dangerous for most high school
chemistry labs.
• Economy. It saves the cost of expensive
equipment and materials.
• Learning Efficiency. The student using the
program is not under the time pressures often
found in the standard chemistry lab period
and can complete exercises at a faster rate.
2. Physics Education Technology
PhET)) project
PhET is an ongoing project that has developed
over 60 simulations for use in teaching
physics, chemistry, and physical science.
Assignment II