Integrated gamified learning tools are a massive step forward in the ‘next best thing’ for elearning. Moving on from the basic and the ‘best’ platforms that are being developed are now integrated (coordinated elements), gamified (has game design elements), elearning tools, such as Simformer, a multi-user simulated business environment, complete with reporting and adaptability.
I chatted to Adelina from Simformer, she’s a knowledgeable, passionate person and took me through what makes Simformer different. My take away point, and why I wanted to write this article, is that Simformer are taking a big step into a new style of mass online learning.
Although there are games ready to go, course developers can create their own scenario based learning game using a diverse range of provided tools. As a trainer/teacher, you can come onto SIMformer site and set up a course to your specifications. If you wanted a course on the day to day management of a shop, you can set a starting point, buying and selling costs, hiring staff, events that may happen during the day, and much more – or you can just choose to focus on one area. The student follows this simulated environment with targets to meet, and the outcome and decisions get reported as learning achievements. It’s easy!
There are many many tools in three main areas which can also be combined; business management, global economy (check out the horticulture specs!) and political simulation (taxes anyone?!).
What happens when you develop a course on Simformer? Yes, the developer keeps the rights. The course can be marketed through the SIMformer marketplace, and can also be used specifically for universities and training institutes, or privately.
Yes, there is PLENTY of support, this is a friendly environment. However, only the course developer (you) has the specific knowledge that they want their students to learn. Simformer is a tool to get to the end point of the learning, but using a much more fun environment.
Simformer has been developed with simulated gamified learning in mind, rather than as tool with lots of shiny things. These guys know what they’re doing with content but don’t expect the bells and whistles of a computer game, I’m sure that will come later down the track.
Image of the Simformer Grocery Store
I like that Simformer is open to the public to create a simulation and distribute to their audience, is flexible and adaptable to different learners needs, can be put onto an institutions Moodle / LMS for access by a large group. AND, that Simformer is bringing about an awareness and a big push into a new area of online learning.
Most of all the team behind Simformer and open to chat and keen to support users – they come across as doing this because they love the learning experience.
Written by the author of eLearn Hub, Rebecca Ogrady-Marshall, after consultation with Adelina from Simformer.