Performance Models Should Drive Simulation Exercises

Sometimes my Simulation Exercise designs team people into specified Roles” – and then “pits Role versus Role” in some targeted performance.

And then there is some team assigned to “monitor and report back on their observations” using a check list provided. Sometimes there are 4 role sets and sometimes 5.

The graphic above has 3 Roles: Executive Team, Management Team and Observer Team – see the red labels on the 3 circles.

This was the “design template” if you will, for a series of Case Studies/Action Learning “APPOs” I designed for the top 240 executives of a Fortune 500 firm that had never brought these leaders together. APPOs are one of three types of “Instructional Activity” – which are the building blocks for a Curriculum Architecture at the Event/Course level of design – at the ADDIE-like level of ISD. The others are INFOs and DEMOs – wgich usually proceed APPOs – but not always!

So this 1st “get-together” of the 240 was very important – politically as well as learning-wise.

And the Case Studies foci (there were 3) were of “recent relevance.” Costly recent relevance. Some things to be avoided in the future. Some things to definitely be “learned from.” Some management failures to “be celebrated” in the hopes/prayer that they are not repeated, ever.

I mean, why else would management show a light on their recent failures to help everyone learn from them

How about – the news to also be delivered at this 1st gathering of leadership – that the recent “costs” associated with these failures would be coming from the executive bonus pool for the next several years?

Ouch. Oh – and here is some learning on how to avoid that kind of stuff in the future.

As I said “recently relevant.”

The next graphic is from the mid-1980s – and I will be playing golf this weekend with two clients from then – the one mentioned in this article, and another – and this is about the design of a very complex Simulation Exercise I designed and developed, including the Game Board covered in this prior post.

The key to the design of a Simulation Exercise (SE) is to reflect the “performance competence” authentically enough. Learners/Performers need to immediately see the relevance – and will if the design of a SE was driven by a Performance Model.

The examples cited here were, as were the 40 plus other “ADDIE-level ISD efforts” I’ve been involved with since 1979, driven by a Performance Model.

Most of my time since 1982 has been spent on leading and conducting Curriculum Architecture Design efforts (74). Many on my staff were then assigned and coached in using these kinds of SE templates to use to “simulate” the key performances of a target audience or audiences after initial instruction (usually) and then with a full debriefing at the end of each round.

As Thiagi has said: all learning happens in the debrief.

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