He said he was impressed for seven reasons:
First, to understand Acton, you have to realize that they are one of the hottest business schools for Entrepreneurship. This is in part because they are focusing on all three types of learning: learning to be, learning to do, and the traditional learning to know. The simulations are, naturally, around learning to do, and can exist outside of the other two, but are more powerful given the “to know” and “to be” aspects.
Thing that Impressed Me Number One: Given that, Acton decided that to deliver the best-in-the-world education that was their vision, they would need to build and use some number of educational simulations. While so many organizations spend years just debating this, the leadership of Acton made this realization quickly and acted upon it.
Thing that Impressed Me Number Two: Acton identified a series of areas where students routinely had trouble understanding to drive the creation of sims.
Thing that Impressed Me Number Three: They sought out developers of pure Flash-based mini-games, but then evolved to include talent from eLearning vendors as well.
Thing that Impressed Me Number Four: Acton made fully available the deep subject matter experts/practitioners in the areas they were covered to be full members of the development team. These subject matter experts were not compliant in the sim design, they were committed.
Thing that Impressed Me Number Five: The sims were each about one hour long, with very accessible graphics but rigorous and deep computational models. They represent a production value that is good enough to be impressive and classic, without breaking the bank of eye candy.
Thing that Impressed Me Number Six: They have so far built six simulations, roughly two at a time, cycling back the best practices learned from each into the next.
Thing that Impressed Me Number Seven: From the student reviews I have seen, they seem to work very well.
Acton has not just produced the right content for the right reasons, they have also role-modeled the right approach and right ambitions.
To experience the games yourself, visit www.actonsims.com.
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