Software Simulation (Show / Try / Test) - Is there another way?

May 13, 2015

Hello everyone, I had a question regarding the Show/Try/Test theory in elearning.

Currently I am developing a software simulation that is utilizing this method. Personally, I always have felt that the Show and Try could be one and the same saving on the learner's precious time. Rather than click next, let the user begin to create that memory of where to click to progress. However, where I am working I am being directed to have each piece created separately because, well, that's how it's done.

Here is my question to you. Is there another option? Is Show/Try/Test just too good that nothing else compares?

We are using an LMS, but the culture here is that our learner's are not being graded or tested. I propose that we "Show" and then let the learner "Try", but discard the "Test". If they are not being graded or tested, how can we expect them to take the time to do the "Test" portion sense time is already sensitive and they can get that simulation style feedback with the "Try"?

Am I crazy? What are your thoughts. Thanks all.

4 Replies
David Charney

Hey Pauly,

I would love to hear what all the great instructional designs say on here about this. We use all sorts of workflows when we develop courses.

Sometimes Show/Try/Test works great. But there are so many ways - it really depends on the content, goals, and knowledge gaps of the learners. You don't always need to show, or try, or test. Sometimes it is about exploring, or thinking, or simply watching.

Sometimes we merge Show/Try/Test together and have the learners try during a little instruction (so not as much direct show, much more try with some potential show if they are not making the correct choices).

Sometimes, pushing someone through a number of steps or through a theory or process is a little too much like teaching someone what buttons to press on a computer to get a result. This is great until there is a decision that needs to be made. Then we might ask the learner to make a decision along the way, throw a few hurdles out and let them pass or fail through them and provide additional information.

You all might recognize that a lot of the content you are having the learner work through is obvious or known enough but three main points are the most important and commonly the hardest to grasp. So focus on those and perhaps mix it up a bit, ask them questions that make them think and provide feedback, let them try some if it is needed.

You can really adjust the workflow to fit the need and the knowledge gaps. You can be very creative about it and possibly build a prototpype and see what people think. 

I am sure a lot of this community can offer better information than me but this is how I look at it. I think I am only allowed to say the word "sometimes" so many times in a response, so I better stop.

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