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Delivering Simulations Asynchronously
March 16, 2020
By: Mary Pat Fralick
When faced with extraordinary circumstances we think about each other and come together to work out solutions that are in the best interest of our clients, partners, and employees. The unprecedented outbreak of the Coronavirus COVID-19 and the global public health crisis it has spawned is one of those extraordinary circumstances. As many of our clients move to remote modes of teaching to ensure the safety of their communities, we thought it important to point out that ELS simulations can be utilized asynchronously.

While you may have typically hosted in-person, facilitated sessions, providing current or aspiring leaders access to play sims asynchronously, has proven to provide effective leadership training. We know this because some of our clients utilize our library entirely asynchronously due to the demographics of their organizations. The simulations can be played wherever your staff is located and can promote the opportunity to stay connected with the team, a mentor/coach or a supervisor to discuss the experience they had within the sim.

To ensure that participants are truly experiencing the value of each sim, the following are suggested prompts to be completed at the conclusion of each simulation:
1. How does the information in this module apply to your current or future role?
2. Were there any unethical or unprofessional actions in play during this simulation? Explain.
3. Which of the following professional norms (integrity, fairness, transparency, trust, collaboration, perseverance, learning, and continuous improvement) were required to make good decisions in this simulation? Explain.
4. What were the most important leadership lessons from this simulation? (For example, a leadership lesson could be, “Personnel issues won’t fix themselves, so we need to intervene.”)
The responses to these questions are not meant to be turned in or graded. The prompts serve to promote a thoughtful, post-simulation reflection and further the opportunity for learning outside of the sim. This can be reinforced through follow on discussions via phone, email, text or tweets.

With schools moving instruction online and the imposed rules for mandatory social distancing, the added stress and potential for isolation and the associated loneliness for administrators is very real. An additional benefit to the utilization of sims, even asynchronously, is that participants can connect around a shared experience and realize that they are not alone. The underlying engagement with the school-based stories provides opportunities for professional development while at the same time enabling collaboration and teambuilding to maintain a positive attitude and climate.

Please feel free to use the hashtag #K12PD to discuss your simulation experience with your colleagues.