No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Games and Simulations – online workshop report


Greetings. I have been asked by Tim Pickles to act as host for a workshop on Games and Simulations from 12.00 Noon to 1.0 pm. I am here. Is anybody else? If so, let's talk.
Hi Chris
Magic! A voice in the void! Greetings, Tim.
Chris, I'm standing here with four computers at the TrainingZone stand at the IPD exhibition - so I'm going to encourage visitors to join in also!
Hi Jo
Chris, do you want to start us of with a question?
Alright, then. First open-ended question. Do you think that a person is more likely to reflect on an experience and learn from it if he/she enjoys it?
Hello - this is my first on line workshop so excuse my faultering steps!
Don't bother faltering. Just talk!
I think that the main factor encouraging reflection is not how enjoyable it is, but how supported it is and safe it feels.
Are you thinking of reflection as it were IN CLASS or in the bath or bar afterwards?
I think enjoyable experiences are helpful - but does ALL learning have to be enjoyable for it to 'work'?
I'm thinking about public reflection, which may be within a group at a training event or 1:1 with a mentor or supervisor.
Lots of the learning I did while it school wan't very enjoyable - but it still worked - some of it anyway!
Thanks, Jo. That helps me. No, Tim, obviously not. Maybe I am biassed because I just hate to impose things on other peolple and I get worried if they are not having fun.
Chris, when you introduce groups to games, etc. how do you deal with people's fear/reluctance about doing something which they may perceive as 'silly'
I generally avoid things that I consider silly myself and can therefore recommend them with conviction. I sometimes say "I can't be sure what YOU will get from it exactly, but what I git from it X years ago was.....
For me the enjoyment factor comes from the discourse with others (I like social learning) and the personal satisfaction of learning something useful to my personal and professional life. I need my learning experiences to be quite focussed and with clear outcomes in view. If the outcome is to be building relationships within a team - I can go with that!
Do you find that a lot depends on your initial enthusiasm - if you start hesitantly, they become hesitant
Why is my name not appearing by my entries - please don't think me rude or secretive!
Jo - your name appears on every other machine except the one you're using: I think the designers think you may know your own name !!!!
Oh whoops - thanks for that Tim!
Tim, Yes. I have to be convinced myself. Jo, I don't know about your name. Mine is not either. I can't always promise focus for what I do because there is a lot of probability in it. I use things which I know have a high probability of provoking certain forms of learning. But I can never guaranntee it,
Chris, do you have favourite games and activities which you re-use time and time again. I know that in my work I have trusted learning activities - like Triads, or Dialogue Books, or even role play - which I often fall back on.
Yes, I do. favourites are probably The Symbol Game and my latest murder-based information-sharing exercise called Johnathon Strangeways.
What I really want is somebody who will give me the chance to run DEVISE AND DECEIVE in a lively out-door environment. It is a bit way out and nobody has had the courage yet.
Tell me more,Chris!
Loosely based on the affair of the Iraqi Supergun, teams have to construct a credible representation of a defence facility. They must keen their intentions sceret from others while trying to find out what the other teams are doing. They buy in parts, They must say what items they are bringing in but mcan lie about the purpose.
Sounds complex ! Is there a risk that people get lost in the instructions?
YES. I need a modest element of risk to feel motivated. It is something I would normally run myself. My self-image says that my strengths are to do with creativity and novelty and that in the majority of cases in most cases they overshadow minor administrative imperfections. You can't have everything.
All sorts of people get into the field of games and simulations. I would be interested to know where other people nare coming from?
It's a bit slow today - not too many participants, but I'm happy to chat on. I like using games - but the issue for me is being able to clearly demonstrate the connection between the activity I'm using and the learning outcomes of the event.
If people don't see the connection, they got lost in the game / activity and drift off.
I don't believe that is always possible. From most good games there are many different things that CAN be learnt. I can't know which features will be most helpful to which participants. I have learn some very valuable things in the past which were apparently no part of the facilitators objectives.
I've used several large scale simulations e.g. after doing a major review activity for a national organisation, we ran a weekend briefing and discussion on the findings. During the evening, we ran a large simulation on what the organisation would like like five years later - their task was to produce a newsletter of that future date. BUT, the problems occur when people lose sight of the objective and go over-enthusiastic in the make-believe aspects, etc/
In the new high technology world is there still a place for manual games and exercises?
I do worry about these war analogy 'games' myself as I find them a real turn off. I once took part in a simulation of third worl economies which was very interesting. Teams were allocated different countries which each had differing resources, processing facilities and loan capacities. We then had to trade with one another restricted by our parametres ans soon began to experience the feelings of power and powerlessness that pervade in the world. it was hard work but very enlightening. Especially interesting was the way that the powerful nations used bullying and dirty tricks to get their way and gender difference in negotiation and tactics also became very apparent. A debriefing (and deroling) would have been very useful but was not part of the event.
Christine - surely there is a place. In training, it's often the simpler things that work best. How often do we find that a complex activity breaks down, whilst "get into pairs and talk about this issue" generates loads of learning
I think de-briefing is very important, especially if you are trying to get people to consider something specific. I often wonder if people don't use games/exercise becasue they are scared of doing the debrief session afterwards?
Hi christine - I think that there will always be a place for f2f learning event - it can very hard to confront or challenge behaviours in ourselves and others through the technologies that do not offer visual and aural cues. As the technologies develop further however, I think that there are all sorts of interesting possibilities.
Good point, Jo. De-briefing is extremely difficult and often gets ignored. I am sure I often do it less than perfectly. But I come back to my beliefe that it is not possible to be very precise about learning outcomes and that the best service one can do for a learner is to encourage reflection and self-directed learning.
Good point about debriefing. I was working on a training for trainers event last week and we were exploring the relative proportions of time in a role play to give to (1) set up, (2) running (3) de-briefing. We eventually agreed on 20%, 30%, 50% respectively.
I agree that without thorough debriefing much learning may not be fully acknolwedged by participants. Debriefing must include a sharing of percpetions of what went on in order to give insight.
With regard to people's assessment of learning outcomes, there seems to be too much reliance on end-of-event quickie feedback, and nothing like enough on post-event follow-up to assess the reflected learning.
Is that not the age old problem of how do you asses wether any 'learning' did actually occur? With technical issues it's easy but with soft skills it is extremely had. Even when somebody say's after the session that they have 'learnt' something will they actually behave differently or is it just lip service?
I agree Tim that end of course feedback does not test application (or validation) of learning (if this is a goal). Is this the same as reflected learning?
I agree about excessive reliance on short-term feedback. I also have some doubts about long-term checks. I see myself as always on the side of the individual, and if I can hel him/her to improve and develop that matters more to me thatn getting him/her to do what the organisationn wants.
Is there a working definition for 'reflected learning'?
Query. What you get from a mirror?
that is a common sense answer - I wondered whether it had a more specific one within the training world?
I would take 'reflected learning' as meaning learning that has been integrated into practice through a process of testing that learning and refining it in the reality of an individuals own situation. How about that as a start Christine!
Change of subject. What can one learn from. I am doing a PAINTING course and one of the things that comes through is that one frequently fails to see what is there until you have looked five times and tried to get it on canvas. It makes one think "How many things am I missing in inter-personal relationships/"
Sorry - got distracted by visitors to our exhibition stand!
Not a bad start, Jo. Like the way you eventually learn to steer into a skid on icy roads.
Just picking up on the definition of 'reflected learning' - what about 'learning which shows up in practice'?
In social work (where I am coming from) we talk about 'reflective practioners' where reflection is seen as an integral part of good practice. Therefore in social work education you are looking to train people in how to reflect on their work with honesty and insight (and encourage feedback from others to inform that reflection). It is a tall order!
Hmmmm. In my contact with social work practitioners, there seems to be a major difficulty in people finding any / enough time to step pack from the everyday crisis management
Yes - I agree Tim. My expereince is that training 'events' are often an important 'reflective' space for these folk.
I worry a bit that we can get over-concerned with reflection and feedback. There are times when one needs courage and conviction as mcuh as the ability to observe the concentional wisdom.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!