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Learning by Doing: A Comprehensive Guide to Simulations, Computer Games, and Pedagogy in e-Learning and Other Educational Experiences (Wiley Desktop Editions) Hardcover – 20 Sep 2005
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" Learning by Doing is the real thing, written by a man who has built simulations that actually work. Aldrich offers deep and lucid theory always accessibly packaged inside fully practical examples and applications. His new book is the best way available today to come to grips with changes that will eventually transform learning in our schools, workplaces, and society."
––James Paul Gee, author, What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy; professor, University of Wisconsin at Madison
"Clark Aldrich draws upon a vast array of resources, from higher education to the corporate world, from state–of–the–art computer games to live role plays to get a sense of where we can go in learning. Filled with practical suggestions and diverse examples, this book is a great read for educators of all types."
––Marshall S. Smith, director, education program, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
"Clark Aldrich has been in the e–learning trenches for years. Learning By Doing is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn from the problems, surprises, and successes he experienced."
––Tom M. Kelly, vice president, Internet Learning Solutions, Cisco
"Learning by Doing provides a comprehensive and informed review of the present and possible futures of simulations and learning games. It s refreshing to see such a complex topic addressed with humor and scholarly acuity."
––Noah Falstein, formerly game designer and executive producer, LucasArts Entertainment and Dreamworks Interactive; freelance game and simulation designer, www.theinspiracy.com
"If you want to design a new learning experience or enhance existing content with game interactions and simulations, Aldrich presents you with a clear outline of your options."
––Margaret Corbit, research outreach, Cornell Theory Center, Cornell University
From the Inside Flap
When it comes to education and training, computer games change everything. Generations of game creators have raised the bar on engagement, and opened the door to new types of material that can be formally learned. At the same time, leading academic, corporate, and military instructors have developed new types of interactive content. Most have worked dramatically better than the traditional alternatives, if only in specific situations.
Designed for learning professionals and drawing on both game creators and instructional designers, Learning by Doing explains how to select, research, build, sell, deploy, and measure the right type of educational simulation for the right situation. It covers simple approaches that use basic or no technology through projects on the scale of computer games and flight simulators.
The book role models content as well, written accessibly with humor, precision, interactivity, and lots of pictures. Many will also find it a useful tool to improve communication between themselves and their customers, employees, sponsors, and colleagues. As John Coné, former chief learning officer of Dell Computers, suggests, Anyone who wants to lead or even succeed in our profession would do well to read this book.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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Aldrich's book is about using simulations to teach. While they cannot be used in all cases especially the next generation simulations, everyone should try and use them when they can. For me they make history dynamic and interesting. They are harder to apply in my own discipline - science. Where making simulations to try and teach the skills is challenging.
That is the one weakness of the book. It has lots of lists and lots of gems for teaching but if you want something to give you a framework for taking this further and developing the next generation simulations he alludes to there is not enough about the design to implementation process. I can figure out what I want to do but then what ...?
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Games and simulations (G&S) is clearly one of the most interesting and exciting areas of learning technology and undoubtedly will play a big part of "next generation (e)Learning," whether in schools, universities, government or industry. This is now being recognized, and evidenced by the growing number of "conferences-within-conferences" (seen most recently at the Training Fall Conference and Expo in Long Beach) or the Serious Games Summit in WDC-to mention just two-dedicated to the topic of G&S.
Clark's book is a most welcome addition to the growing literature covering G&S-and it is a book I highly recommend for anyone interested in learning technology. And if you are involved in some way in learning and training, you cannot avoid technology and if you want to be conversant and be ready to make (smart) decisions on issues that undoubtedly will soon come your way, if they have not already, the ROI on the money spent on Clark's book will no doubt be great.
Clark is a highly respected analyst-with a long history of insightful writing on learning and learning technology (which thousands of practitioners and analysts have enjoyed for a number of years)-as well as a simulation developer, and a business executive (leading Simulearn). Few others can equal his credentials in the area of learning technology so even before the book arrived in my mailbox I knew that this would be one I would enjoy and find very useful. It did not disappoint me.
Not only is it well written but it is a very nice combination of the following:
-- Clear analysis of different types of G&S. This is very useful as it will help future discussion and dialog and reduce the confusion that results when people think they are talking about the same things but in fact are not. Even if one does not agree with Clark's taxonomy he is nevertheless doing us a service by stimulating a richer dialog around these issues.
-- Lots of good examples. Especially for readers interested in using G&S in their organizations, and therefore need to understand the practical side of G&S, Clark's book is very useful as it provides a range of different examples covering the different types of G&S discussed in the book. The examples come from different types of users and sectors, and few application areas exist where G&S could not be highly useful.
-- Challenges that lie ahead. Because of Clark's varied background he is very well positioned to reflect on the challenges that lie ahead and to give a realistic assessment of where we are heading with G&S. As with other analysts, like Clark Quinn, for instance, Aldrich recognizes that the future for G&S is no cakewalk. It is very hard-and often costly-to build high quality, customized simulations, for instance, as Clark learned when he built Virtual Leader. But as tools and technology improve, as more vendors compete and offer better products, and as buyers recognize the benefits of G&S (See the excellent work by James Gee at the Games and Professional Practice Simulations at the Academic ADL Co-lab, for instance) and demand thus accelerates, "effective cost" per user (nominal cost normalized by learning effectiveness) will no longer be a major adoption barrier.
Clark is also one of the most popular speakers on the conference circuit so once you have read his book you will have more to talk to him about when you meet him at one or more of the upcoming events where he will speak.
Eilif Trondsen, Ph.D.
Learning on Demand Program
SRI Consulting Business Intelligence
After reading Learning by Doing by Clark Aldrich, I am completly blown away. Clark is a genius. This book is relavent and puts into context everything I have been doing for 22 years.
This book captures in a fun, easy to read informative style, both the pedagogy and technology for creating state of the art e-learning experiences.
I have never been motivated to write an Amazon review before, but I can't over emphasize my enthusiasm for this book. I have already had several of my clients buy this book. The book is well researched and completely current with latest trends and advancements. The use of bullet lists and charts/ diagrams is very helpful. The index is more comprehensive and complete than any book I have ever seen. Clark's editorial comments are right on target.
The book is not a dense encyclopedia, so if that is what you are looking for then supplement your library with some of the other current titles on blended learning. I give this book my highest recommendations as an introduction/ overview to the most current research and pedagogy in the use of educational technology for corporate training.
I especially recommend this book for corporate trainers who are trying to figure out how to evolve from instructor led to a blended learning paradigm.