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Creative ways to use educational simulations for teachers


Educational simulations can be a valuable tool for teachers, providing a unique and engaging way to teach new concepts and skills. However, many teachers may be unsure how to incorporate simulations into their curriculum.

According to the article "The use of virtual reality for creating unusual environmental stimulation to motivate students to explore creative ideas" published on November 12, 2012, written by Dr. Kung Wong Lau, an assistant professor at the Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Ms. Pui Yuen Lee, currently lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, argues that by analyzing the roles within a simulation and incorporating immersive virtual environments to enhance students' learning experiences at the university, it is possible to generate a creative education strategy through the provision of interactive simulations.

Creative ways to use educational simulations for teachers

The empirical study of a educational simulation was carried out in order to investigate the effectiveness of providing virtual simulation to enrich students’ learning experiences. The researchers found that simulations can possibly enhance students’ learning experiences by providing them with a heuristic and highly interactive simulated virtual environment. Being explorative and fun are essential parts of students’ learning experiences in virtual simulations. The article suggests that educators create stimulated virtual learning environments, for example game-like environments, to help students develop positive learning behaviors in the learning process.

That's why we at Eureka simulations share with you some creative ways for the teachers can incorporate educational simulations to enhance their instruction as well as turn simulations into powerful creative education tools that will enhance the potential of their students:

1. Use simulations to create real-world scenarios:

Simulations can be used to create realistic scenarios that reflect the challenges and opportunities students will face in the real world. This can help make abstract concepts more concrete and meaningful. Remember that implementing simulations can develop students' generic and professional skills. Even it will also reveal a more conscious and motivated attitude toward the future profession of those students who participated in the process of creating the game.

Creative ways to use educational simulations for teachers

2. Incorporate simulations into group projects:

Group projects are a great way to get students working together, and simulations can be used to create collaborative learning experiences. For example, students can work together to run a virtual business or plan a virtual event. Simulation learning plays an important role in social work education as it allows students to explore how theoretical and practical parameters can be integrated into real situations they are likely to experience in the field and above all to work together to find solutions to the same ones.

3. Use simulations to teach critical thinking and problem solving skills:

Simulations can be designed to challenge students to think critically and solve problems, which are essential skills for success in today's rapidly changing world. Simulations have a number of features that when previously designed, seek to provide students with the opportunity and encouragement to develop creative solutions. In addition to the specific assessment criteria assigned to the simulation objective, they can motivate the search for appropriate information and, at the same time, provide freedom for creative responses, thus offering students an opportunity for experiential learning.

Creative ways to use educational simulations for teachers

4. Use simulations to personalize instruction:

Simulations can be tailored to meet the needs of different learners, which can help provide personalized learning experiences. For example, simulations can be tailored to different levels of difficulty or designed to focus on specific areas of study.

Games and simulations are regarded as tools that may support differentiated learner groups including underserved learners, learners with skills needs (e.g. numeracy and literacy) and informal learners seeking to learn from experiences, as well as supporting collaborative learning practices. Furthermore, the majority of learners and tutors using games and simulations involved in the study did find value in using these tools as part of their wider learning and teaching practices.

5. Use simulations to assess student understanding:

Simulations can be used to assess student understanding in a more authentic and engaging way than traditional assessments. Teachers can use simulations to assess student performance, identify areas of strength and weakness, and provide personalized feedback. Although simulation methods have been used primarily for teaching in education, there is growing interest in the use of simulation for student and program assessments. The development of simulation scenarios for high-stakes assessments differs from traditional authoring of teaching and learning scenarios in several respects.

Creative ways to use educational simulations for teachers

With advances in technology, simulations can be more interactive and engaging. Incorporating technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality and gamification into simulations can provide students with an immersive experience. Currently, virtual reality, simulations and immersive environments are lines of research that can be applied to many scientific and educational fields. Immersive digital media need new approaches in terms of their interactive and immersive characteristics, which implies the design of new narratives and relationships with users and even more so in education, since it's a field that is transforming all the time, through innovation and new technologies.

In conclusion, educational simulations offer a wide range of possibilities for teachers to improve their instruction. They can create real-world scenarios, incorporate group projects, teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills, personalize instruction, assess student understanding, and incorporate technology. By incorporating these creative ways, teachers can provide a more engaging and effective learning experience for their students.


Lau, K. W., & Lee, P. Y. (2015). The use of virtual reality for creating unusual environmental stimulation to motivate students to explore creative ideas. Interactive Learning Environments, 23(1), 3-18.

Sanina, A., Kutergina, E., & Balashov, A. (2020). The Co-Creative approach to digital simulation games in social science education. Computers & education, 149, 103813.

Tortorelli, C., Choate, P., Clayton, M., El Jamal, N., Kaur, S., & Schantz, K. (2021). Simulation in social work: Creativity of students and faculty during COVID-19. Social Sciences, 10(1), 7.

Wynder*, M. (2004). Facilitating creativity in management accounting: a computerized business simulation. Accounting Education, 13(2), 231-250.

Willhaus, J., Burleson, G., Palaganas, J., & Jeffries, P. (2014). Authoring simulations for high-stakes student evaluation. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 10(4), e177-e182.

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About the author:
Diana Gutiérrez Eureka logo

Diana Gutiérrez is a journalist and content strategist for Eureka Simulations. She holds a degree in social communication and journalism from Universidad los Libertadores and has extensive experience in socio-political, administrative, technological, and gaming fields.