simulation by any
other name . . .
Mark Harris hether it is called “gaming,” “case studies,”
“scenario-based learning” or any of perhaps a
Mr. Harris is a
professor of English dozen other names, the use of simulation in teach-
at Schoolcraft ing, training, and learning is continuing to expand.
College in Livonia,
Michigan. Simulation has a long and storied history. Some
experts point to military training as far back as the
Roman Empire to find the prototypes for mod-
ern simulation, where various types of technol-
ogy — from barrels with sticks protruding that were
twirled to help train swordsmen, to virtual patients
in hands-on medical simulators that used haptics
to respond to trainees’ interventions — are used to
provide practice without real consequences.
In the twentieth century, simulators have been
used extensively in the same tradition for aviation
and marine pilots. Edwin Link patented the first
flight simulator (dubbed “The Pilot Maker”) in
1929, and his AN-T-18 Basic Instrument Trainer
was standard equipment at every US and Allied Air
Training school during WWII where it trained per-
haps as many as 500,000 airmen (Ennis 1981).
The computer revolution has transformed sim-