Adapting work simulations for schools

Michel Ferrari, Roger Taylor, Kurt VanLehn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Although computer-based simulations of workplaces are a promising way to prepare high school students for the world of work, it is unclear how many workplace simulations exist and how suitable they are for school-to-work programs. An extensive survey located 142 workplace simulations, many of which were not intended for the school-to-work market. Thirty-nine of the most promising simulations were obtained and analyzed to determine potential problems that might impede their use in school-to-work programs. These simulations were classified according to type (e.g., Skill simulations; Role-Playing simulations; and Strategy simulations) and then critiqued regarding common problems in using them (e.g., usability, learnability, content, and available teacher support). We indicate which problems are most common and what educators can do to overcome them. We close with a prepositional analysis of two of the most promising workplace simulations that measures the job-specificity and implicitness of their content. We conclude that simulations can play an important role in school-to-work transition programs, even if not specifically designed for that purpose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-53
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Educational Computing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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