A simulation is a powerful technique that imitates or replicates some aspect of the world. Students are not only motivated by simulations but also learn by interacting with them in a manner similar to the way they react in real situations.
Simulation which is safe, convenient and controllable is an instructional methodology that uses the full power of the computer for instruction. Simulations improve tutorials and drills through enhanced motivation, transfer of learning, and efficiency.
In almost every instance, a simulation also simplifies reality by omitting or changing details. In this simplified world, the student solves problems, learns procedures, comes to understand the characteristics of phenomena and how to control them, or learns what actions to take in different situations.
The purpose is to help the student build a useful mental model of part of the world, and to provide an opportunity to test it safely and efficiently.
In a simulation the student learns by actually performing the activities to be learned in a context that is similar to the real world.
There is some situations in the classroom where educational Simulation is not appropriate, which is;
- When the problem can be solved by common sense.
- When the problem can be solved analytically.
- If it is easier to perform direct experiments.
- If cost exceed savings.
- If resource or time are not available
- If system behavior is too complex
If all these context apply within a topic or sub-topic you are going to teach, its better to use normal teaching tools and methods to facilitate the lesson.