Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mind Map For Branching Simulations

This Simulation Mind Map that illustrates the thought behind the design and development of a branching simulation. The map has 3 major off-shoots:

  1. Learning Design - How the simulation fits into a learning plan that meets the needs of a learner.
  2. Simulation Design - The over-arching design of the simulation including interface and methodologies
  3. Scenario Design - The transformation of a scenario or case into a branching scenario. This includes both the story layout and the design tools (not software) one could use to create a branching scenario.

Every part is inter-related. For example "performance indicators" is an element really shared by all three off-shoots. I would like to validate this map with a few peers as I will be presenting it at the elearning Guild Conference in April of 2007.

I used FreeMind to create the map. While it is a good tool and I found the flash output really neat, I may switch to another that has more features like spell-check.

Please submit any comments.



Phil said...

Simon, I agree with your comment on the blog that each of the three main branches of your mind map are inter-related, and I'd further add that all three as a whole are rarely consistent from project to project. I think it's an important distinction that each project requires it's own pre-planning process to define all the branches on the map. I think companies have a tendency to repeat what's familiar or follow an established process rather than approach each project as a blank slate. It's the blank slate approach that fosters creativity and a "what's-best-for-this-content" attitude, and that's when the best learning happens.

Also, I'd suggest adding a branch under "2. Simulation Design / Interface" for "Character(s)." They're a major consideration for what the simulation will look like, how large the interface needs to be, and the graphic style used. Since a "character" can be a document, a software application, a person or persons, an inanimate object, etc., a lot of decisions are made based on who or what the character is and how the simulation will flow through him, her, or it.

Really good stuff, Simon. You also mentioned that you've been reading some elearning books lately. Any other rock-solid recommendations?

Todd Luger said...

This is a pretty cool tool. We are developing reusable interactive learning objects for our e-learning courses and I am working on an idea for a branching scenario like yours. I was wondering if there were any resources you could recommend for guidelines and software applications for creating them. Thanks.