Simplicity is a virtue, but the world is complex. Education is all about “rules of thumb” and elegant models of relationships; but if students cannot apply those in real life—with all its messiness—then the simple teachings are probably less than helpful.
I have taught for years in business schools where case studies and simulations were designed to “teach” a simple truth. Students know this. They get easy, good grades because the answer is pretty straightforward
if they know the topic of the day – just apply that model, and you pass the course.
But they are completely stumped by the real world… because they have never been in it. But educators owe them a real education — incorporating easy to comprehend concepts to help graduates navigate the complex world in which they really live.
Our Interactive Learning eXperiences (I-L-Xs) do this. There are three cenquintillion (3 x 10^318) combinations of the variables in our first game, OneDay. In over 50 hours of gameplay, students must discover/collect concepts, strategies, learnings and actions. They do this only by looking in the right places, asking the right questions, drawing the correct conclusions. A successful student will have gathered well over 1000 of these; 90% of which are potentially good choices – but only when put together in the right combinations.
In truth, while our I-L-Xs are vastly more complex than any current forms of education, we have still simplified life. In a real business decision, the possibilities are immeasurably more than a few cenquintillions. And in today’s Attention Economy where we are bombarded in a single day by more information than those in the 20th century might access in a lifetime, education must change to appropriately prepare graduates for life after school.