How simulation-based learning is transforming education
Submitted by Christopher Miszczak
Simulation technology and artificial intelligence are changing the landscape of education. With more post-secondary programs incorporating elements of online learning, new tools are coming to the forefront to help students develop the necessary skills to succeed in a virtual environment.
In 2017, Fanshawe College alumni Nicole Mclean (Business Administration - Marketing, 2006) co-founded InStage, an experiential learning platform designed to help students develop the communication skills they need to reach their career goals.
InStage turns Zoom meetings into immersive simulations where students have the opportunity to practice interviews, business pitches, presentations and more with a diverse cast of characters that makes it feel like they’re talking to real people. Students immediately receive personalized feedback reports they can use to make improvements and track their progress.
By giving students a safe environment to practice in, InStage can help build confidence while preparing students for the real world.
“We are looking at the proliferation of business intelligence, artificial intelligence, data analytics, big data, evidence-based reporting and, most importantly, comfort with technology,” says Kathryn Lee, professor in Fanshawe’s Office Administration – Health Sciences diploma program. “We have really stepped into a very technical world.”
“I am beyond excited to give students the opportunity to practice in our simulations, because I know how important these skills will be throughout their careers,” says Nicole. “Employers in every field are seeking candidates with soft skills. I’m very proud that Fanshawe recognizes this and continues to innovate in order to provide a world class education and resources to its students.”
Nicole went on to reflect on her most meaningful memory while being at Fanshawe College. For her it was the faculty. Mary Pierce, dean of Fanshawe’s Faculty of Business, Information and Technology, played a pivotal role in preparing Nicole for her career. “She prepared me to be the best, and little did I know a year later I would be standing on a stage accepting The Best of Best Employee of Year award at Scotiabank.”
Nicole also added that professors may not always be recognized for the extremely influential role they play in their students' lives, and they need to be. Just like how, several years later Nicole remembers her experiences with her professors at Fanshawe—it has meant a lot.
If there is one key message to take away from all of this, it is that this collaboration is exciting. InStage simulations are fun, engaging and can make a big impact in and out of the classroom for Fanshawe students.