Simulations are based on a simple, but effective, learning strategy—practice makes perfect. Not just any practice will do. The practice needs to take place in context. Simulations are used to teach a specific process (the practice) within a specific environment (the context). This is the goal of simulation, and many [Page 400]argue that simulation is not a luxury but a necessity for certain types of learning to take place.
Some of the primary benefits of simulations are:
- The closer the simulation resembles a learner's actual environment, the greater the retention.
- Simulations provide a safe environment in which to make mistakes. Some of the best learning comes from assessing one's own mistakes.
- Simulations allow learning to take place without pulling expensive equipment offline (e.g., simulationbased training for F-15 aircraft—it's very ...