Interactive and simulated learning environments are an effective way to improve people’s skills and abilities, experientially. Results from such experiences confirm readiness for real-world tasks, they can be correlated with actual performance, and can expose learning paths. In this post, I’ll share how one company has made it easy for instructional designers and developers to build complex simulations in a flexible manner, and they’ve implemented the Experience API as a customizable & granular tracking mechanism. You’ll also find a tutorial and video demonstrating how to connect a simulation to a Learning Record Store (LRS).
“Augment learning experiences. Live data sources. Interactive simulations. Team activities. No scripting. Flexible & powerful.” - ZebraZapps
Instructional designers and developers need to create simulations and have very specific results reported about the actions taken. In order to accomplish this, they have to directly program or script software applications and use custom tracking mechanisms to report results. The actions taken in the simulation have rich context and in order to accurately understand the results, designers need the flexibility to choose what is measured beyond a score, completion, or the time elapsed. It’s also desirable to analyze results alongside actual performance data which can’t be done easily without a standard form of tracking.
Enter ZebraZapps + Experience API + Wax LRS. ZebraZapps is a cloud-based authoring system for creating rich interactive media applications in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) interface. Here’s how this solution solves the problem:
- Easy to build simulations. ZebraZapps doesn’t require any coding yet it’s extremely flexible & powerful. Try out this working simulation for yourself.
- Full control of the design process. Live data sources can be included to better simulate real-world circumstances. Instructional designers can choose exactly what needs to be tracked, in the right context.
- Results aren’t locked in an LMS. They are sent to an LRS (or multiple LRSs) using the Experience API standard. This means the data is portable and can be analyzed or sliced & diced in a number of ways. In fact, Wax LRS provides a set of standard analyses with the ability to add custom reports. The video below describes how to connect a Zapp to Wax LRS.
Bonus: Zapps can be launched directly from an LMS, offered online, and even embeded in published content from other authoring tools.
Here’s a more in-depth tutorial created in ZebraZapps for how to use ZebraZapps with the Experience API and your LRS of choice.
Using ZebraZapps with tracking powered by the Experience API allows for flexible, context-aware, and conscientious design of simulations by Instructional Designers. There’s no need for coding and result data is portable and usable.
What ideas do you have for building simulations using ZebraZapps? Share your thoughts in the comments below.