© Paul Ladley 2011.

Paul Ladley Consultant / Project Manager / Instructional Designer / Developer


Simulations and Games Based Learning

In addition to ‘page turning’ e-learning, I have designed and developed over 20 learning simulations and games. These learning simulations incorporate sophisticated models and are delivered in blended workshops alongside other exercises such as action planning.

Learning simulations are fun and get everyone involved. Players make decisions and get immediate feedback, allowing them to quickly build up subject understanding. Within the context of authentic (situated) and collaborative  experience, they also develop soft skills

I believe the most important aspect of the learning approach is that the simulations provide an anchor for conversations among team mates, across teams, and at a group level mediated by the facilitator. Learning simulations create dialogue and build relationships.

I have redeveloped learning simulations for use in education. I blog regularly at www.games-based-learning.com and have written a paper on Games Based Situated Learning.


Planit-Shared learning simulation was developed with West Midlands IEP. It looks at the issues of improvement and efficiency while dealing with financial limits. It also looks at the opportunity of shared services and considers the human resources ramifications of their introduction.

Delegates are split into teams to play the roles in a virtual organisation. The the delegates do not use the computer; instead they use worksheets to make decisions.

The learning simulation is run over three to four rounds (simulated years). The workshop runs over the course of a day.

Each round is split into 3 phases (Plan > Do > Review):

1. State of play - looking at reports and listening to explanations from the facilitator - Planning actions.

2a. Make purchase decisions - working with team to choose purchases that will deliver the strategy. And negotiating with other teams that might be able to help.

2b. Input the purchase decisions - Once all the decisions have been made, the teams return to their seats, and the facilitator asks each team, “What have you bought and why?”

3. Review what happed and deal with any incidents - Things go wrong and the teams need sort out these problems.

Games-based-learning Blog

Games Based Situated

Learning Paper

Click to see a demo of a learning simulation developed in Flash.

Planit-Sustainability learning simulation developed in Flash. Used in workshops.

Cover of (with link to) games-ED - Games Based Situated Learning Theory paper. Blogger logo: link to our games based learning blog.