Experiential Learning – Simulated!

We all know that the best way to learn something is to do it.  That’s why doctors have 5 year residencies and mechanics and plumbers have appreticeships – you need practical experience to recognize symptoms, identify the problem and act accordingly.  The same is true for learning to manage group dynamics, promote innovation and practice culturally preffered leadership skills.  You need to experience the situations and practice your response to get it right.

Simulated experiential learning has long been in practice for medical, military and business training but is a relatively new initiative in organizational development training.  However, group simulation activities can lead to efficiency, effectiveness, and risk reduction in the workplace let alone the potential to garner new skill sets.

We have all sat through the endless slide shows and overly simplified dramatizations commonly used in ‘culture change’, ‘leadership’ and ‘how to be innovative’ workshops – none of which allow learners the opportunity to practice the principles and skills in real life situations. Simulations use real life parameters but often with an element of competition to keep groups engaged and ensure optimal performance.  Rather than heading back to the office with a set of principles, the participants leave having experienced implementation of the principles with opportunity to learn from their mistakes in a risk-free virtual environment.

If you want to check out one of the leading organizations in the production of workplace simulations ExperiencePoint covers topics ranging from practicing social resposibility, customer service practices to leading innovation.


simulation pic (2)

This entry was posted in Collaboration, Collective Intellegence, Innovation, Technology and tagged , by John. Bookmark the permalink.

About John

“John Abele is a pioneer and leader in the field of less-invasive medicine, For more than four decades, John has devoted himself to innovation in health care, business and solving social problems.” He is retired Founding Chairman of Boston Scientific Corporation. John holds numerous patents and has published and lectured extensively on the technology of various medical devices and on the technical, social, economic, and political trends and issues affecting healthcare. His major interests are science literacy for children, education, and the process by which new technology is invented, developed, and introduced to society. Current activities include Chair of the FIRST Foundation which works with high school kids to make being science-literate cool and fun, and development of The Kingbridge Centre and Institute, a conferencing institution whose mission is to research, develop, and teach improved methods for interactive conferencing: problem solving, conflict resolution, strategic planning, new methods for learning and generally help groups to become “Collectively intelligent.” He lives with his wife and two dogs in Shelburne, Vermont.”

One thought on “Experiential Learning – Simulated!

  1. Some great work in enabling teams to be virtually together before being co-located was done with OpenQwaq (an immersive collaboration tool). It is still a breaking field in collaboration but when for example teams need to be in very close quarters under tremendous pressure situations (aka DoD or Oil Riggs, etc), we’ve used these immersive environments, think XBox game but built as true unified collaboration tools for the Org / Enterprise. A Navy might harness this kind of capability to get the sailors who have to sit next to each other for months on a sub. used to each other. Help them learn before they go under water how to depend upon each other, work with each other, etc.

    Interesting and its been tried a bit over the past few years with good results.

Leave a Reply to Julie LeMoine Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *