Simulations are an effective way to facilitate learning. A simulated case study or exercise has the potential to teach course participants to use general knowledge later on in specific applications. In the scenario presented, I would need to balance the ideas that my manager holds in favoring a simulation against the recommendations of the IT staff that say that time and resources are finite and inadequate to properly construct this learning design. To properly address this situation, I would go back to the needs assessment.
Before any training is developed, there must be a stated or uncovered need for behavior to be changed or for a set of skills to be developed. Once there is a clear understanding of the needs, a translation can be made to the specific learning outcomes. In the situation presented, I would speak with my manager and present several options. The first option being that a longer time horizon and budget be considered to do what he is asking me, as I will need the IT staff to cooperate.If that is not an option, then I would need to test my manager’s tolerance level for other options.
The next option I would present is a low-tech simulation that does not need IT resources and would be developed in-house. Perhaps parts of the program could be supported by IT in a limited capacity. The rest of the materials would be homegrown and adapted to the corporate culture. It would demonstrate more of a commitment on my part and my manager would see that I am trying to deliver on his wishes, while meeting the needs of the organization.The next option I would present would an outsourced solution that is web-based.
The solution might cost a little more, but could be delivered on time and meet the needs of the organization. This would be a more “off-the-shelf” solution that would hit the larger targets. The last approach would be a blended learning approach that would take items from each of the other options presented and put then in a logical order that could meet the needs of all stakeholders and be delivered on time.