Simulation can be explained as "imitation of interpersonal
or other dynamics, often using materials and roles, to help participants
feel as well as understand the dynamics of a complex situation." (Knox
The computer can act as the simulation controller,
scheduling the events to occur and providing the outcomes based on the
actions the role players take. Because of this, the game can be played
at regulated time or in real time. There are many simulations where playing
in real time rather than accelerated time would be beneficial to enhancing
the realism. Since people can interact at a time of their own choosing,
a computer-based simulation can go on over days, weeks, or months.
The examples below illustrate some of the types of behavioral simulation
programs available today. You can read the explanation of how these programs
work, download a version of the program to try it out on your computer,
or follow the links for further information.
In this WWW project, behavior simulations are used to extend sixth graders'
communication skills and to expand their understanding of the working world.
After listening to guest speakers talk about their careers, students form
fictional startup companies and take on the various corporate roles. They
write resumes, conduct interviews, read and discuss articles on economics.
Because of the many formats used in business communications, students gain
a wide variety of writing experience.
In addition to writing business letters and memos, they each composed
a fictional account of "A day in the life...." of a fictional person.
In A Day in the Life of Dr. Richard Osmer , a six grader reports her
day as Dr. Richard Osmer, the head of Research and Development for Miracle
Cure, Inc. and also co-head of marketing. Miracle Cure conducts research
and tries to find drugs that will help cure epidemics.
The following is the opening paragraph of the fictional account of Dr.
Richard Osmer's day:
It was 7 AM on the morning of December 7th, 1998. I was sitting at
my desk at work when I got a phone call. Before I go on I'd better tell
you about my job. My name is Dr. Richard Osmer. I am the head of Research
and Development for Miracle Cure, Inc. I am also co-head of marketing.
At Miracle Cure we do research and try to find drugs that will help cure
epidemics. I don't actually do that much hands-on research myself these
days because I am busy organizing this department and helping the researchers
with ideas and pointing them in new directions when they seem to get stuck
in a rut. I have a scientific background and my Ph.D. is in the field of
This web page also includes a journal, a job description, a draft of radio
advertisement , and a memo.
Click on Entrepreneurial
Day in the Life of Dr. Richard Osmer ((http://picard.dartmouth.edu/~petera/BizBasics/BBblurb.html)
to take a closer look at this project.
PC Fishing Adventures: Online Fishing Simulation
This free sample of computer fishing covers facts, definition, strategy,
and secrets of fishing in a simulated setting.
For example, the PC Fishing Adventure provides facts such as fresh-
water fish can include bass, trout, sunfish, catfish, perch, walleye, or
many other and saltwater fish can include bass, perch, flounder, halibut,
snook, and many more.
PC Fishing Adventure also gives definitions on still-fishing and
cast-and-retrieve fishing. The fishing process is described in the easy
steps listed under the 'Basic Fishing Sequence' below and in greater detail
under the 'Detailed Fishing Sequence'. For example, the basic fishing sequence
are (1) Check the species that inhabit the current location, (2) Select
a rod & reel and line, (3) Select a bait and a fishing depth, (4) Position
your rod in the scene, (5) Cast your bait, (6) Wait for a strike if you
are still-fishing, otherwise retrieve or reel-in your bait, (7) Set the
hook when a strike occurs (or cast again if it doesn't), (8) Reel-in the
fish, (9) Net the fish, and (10) Display and log your catch
To try out this trial program, you must install it on your computer's
hard drive. To do that you must copy the folder called fishing
to your hard drive. That folder is on the CD-ROM in the subdirectory
/. You might create a subdirectory on your
computer named EDSoft (only
if you do not already have one). Then you could copy fishing
into the EDSoft
subdirectory. Once you have copied fishing
over to your hard drive you can use the standard
Windows procedure to install that program by clicking on setup.exe
in the EDSoft/fishing /
folder on your hard drive. Then follow the directions on the screen.
Click here to know more about installation.
The purpose of the web site (The Educational Space Simulations Project,
affiliated with the National Association of Space Simulating Educators,
NASSE) is to promote the development of education via simulation. In this
Space Simulation Project, students practice posting navigation reports,
weather reports, simulation related pictures, samples of student astronaut
applications that consisted of a persuasive essay and experimental proposal.
The site also provides for links for sites useful to space simulating educators,
and space simulation information resources.
This web site lists a long list of simulation software in the web free
for users to download. The drawback is, the users have to connect to further
links or down load and try out the software by themselves because it does
not offer descriptions of program content, hardware requirements, or platform
The "Simulations or Games" section of this web site decries several examples
of behavioral simulations programs. One of the examples that is related
with K-12 is the The Earth Day Treasure Hunt project. The Earth Day Treasure
Hunt involved students from twenty sites. Each classroom was asked to write
up five or six treasure hunt clues describing a geographical place. The
clues should describe a particular location on earth such as a city, a
mountain peak, a lake, etc. and it could include information about latitude,
elevation, climate, vegetation, industry, ecology etc.
This web page is a teacher's report of a behavior simulation project using
online resources as research tools -- the Earth Day Treasure Hunt project
described in the previous paragraph.
The author of this web page argues that a simulation has to be designed
in such a way that users live inside the simulated world. And this simulated
world must react to user in ways which traditional simulations do not.
In particular, lessons need to be designed that ensure that a student falls
into well known traps, and thus needs to reason his way out of them.
The author of this web page proposes that simulations offer two key advantages
over real life. The first is that real life tends to keep marching on by.
Simulations allow students to play with time in ways the real world does
not permit. The second advantage is, simulations also provide teachers
with better access to students. Simulations can be instrumented so that
teachers can monitor students, waiting until students get into a jam that
indicates that they are ready to hear something the teacher wants to convey.
This is the home page of MASTER Tools. MASTER Tools, developed by The Shodor
Education Foundation, Inc. are the result of on-going collaborations with
the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), George Mason
University, and other education organizations.
The MASTER tools are intended to create an authentic scientific experience.
They are designed to be interactive tools and simulation environments that
enable and encourage exploration and discovery through observation, conjecture,
and modeling activities. All of the simulations and supporting curriculum
materials are designed in accordance with the new National Science Education
Standards and the National Math Education Standards.
Instructional materials are currently available for Galaxy, SimSurface,
and the Fractal Microscope. Other materials will be made accessible as
they are developed.
Projects appropriate for secondary school students include:
The Pit and the Pendulum: Explore the physics and properties of
pendulums through Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum.
Galaxy: Simulate the formation of a galaxy starting from initial
conditions that you choose.
to the Behavioral Theories