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A lecture format that a sim-person could love

By

Mon Apr 16 2007

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I travel all over the world presenting research and ideas on simulations (typically to a larger group, before working more closely with a smaller group). But I am constantly stuck with the same conundrum - how do you capture the spirit of simulations while presenting material?

(And just to say, I am no Thiagi. I cannot engage and delight anywhere near his level, if at all).

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I was at the Army War College on Friday, and tried something for the first time that was really great. I loaded up a copy of my wiki-like blog on each of the student computers. I gave them free permission to unabashedly explore the material while I was talking.

I told them they could go straight to the sim Examples (everything in \[brackets\] took them to real, outside examples), if they wanted. Or they could explore theory and concepts. They could even drift off to tangential areas like Social Networking.

When I was talking, probably a third didn't hear a word I said - they were off exploring THE SAME MATERIAL, but in a self-directed and more open-ended way. Probably a third did what I would have done - drifted back and forth. And a third actually listened to me.

Clearly, this is a work in progress. But it felt like a major step, at least in my own view of what formal learning can and should be.

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