Facilitating games and simulations
facilitation of games and simulations in all disciplines and levels of learning
Call for papers for a symposium issue of
Simulation & Gaming:
An International Journal of Theory, Practice and Research.
Guest Editors: Elyssebeth
Leigh and Laraine Spindler
University of Technology of Sydney
As invited guest editors for a 2005
issue of S&G we seek contributions on the topic of
facilitation in simulations and games. In this
context, the term facilitation refers to the skills and capabilities for
managing simulations and games for learning. Both the term and relevant skills,
have received little attention in journals or conferences in the field. Yet
facilitation contributes far more to the achievement of intended outcomes than
is suggested by this absence of attention, and evaluation of facilitation
receives even less. Our goal is to publish a
coherent group of resources to support skill improvement, research and
understanding of this critical component of the field.
As guest editors, who are researching
facilitation, we hold the following propositions:
- Effective facilitation contributes to
achieving relevant learning outcomes, but if done poorly, can destabilise even
the best designs (there are no facilitator-proof designs).
- Facilitation requires an
understanding of participants as complex human beings. You are facilitating
far more that the sequence of events.
- Good facilitation may appear
effortless but is highly conceptual, deeply analytical (even if not
consciously so at any particular moment) and the result of extended reflective
- Identifying opportunities to support
- rather than control - learning is the basis of good facilitation.
- The facilitator’s style and the
design parameters of an activity must be congruent.
- Different people have different
approaches depending on their understanding of education, its various purposes
and the ways that learning occurs, which influences their choices of activity.
- Where there is incongruence between
facilitation style and activity design the learning potential is seriously
weakened, and there is a higher potential for negative emotional responses to
the experience. These in turn require an even more skilled response.
- The ability to facilitate can be
learned – experience is vital, reading can only give conceptual awareness, not
We are seeking articles that take up any of these issues
and/or explore the following themes:
- What are the basic group dynamics
frameworks and theories about the human factors that facilitators need to
possess to be able to operationalize the role
- What are the skills and capabilities
of an effective facilitator? To what extent are these context specific?
- How do you learn to be a good
facilitator? How do you help others to do so?
- What are appropriate ways to research
and evaluate facilitation and enactments of the role of facilitator?
- How do you appropriately construct
and manage the experience of a simulation or game where the intent is research
as well as (or rather than) learning?
- What are useful recovery strategies –
how to bring a group back into focus after an event that disorients or
otherwise inhibits the learning?
In the first instance please sent a short summary of your
paper's theme and we will reply within 7 days of receipt, concerning how we
would like to match it with the overall theme. Please send such summaries
by end of autumn 2004. We would like to receive full papers by end of
2004. Where this is difficult please ask about how we can cooperate to make this
an issue that can become a helpful resource for all those wishing to know more
about successfully using simulations and games for learning.
Send proposals to both:
Elyssebeth Leigh, Faculty of Education, UTS PO Box
123, Broadway. NSW 2007 Australia.
elyssebeth.leigh NoSpam @uts.edu.au
Laraine Spindler, IIS, UTS, PO BOx 123, Booadway.
NSW 2007 Australia.
laraine.spindler NoSpam @uts.edu.au