The next step is to deliver the experience at the individual or participant level. In our case, we work at the Leadership or aspiring leader level, but this approach can be utilized for any level of educator or school staff. The Sims manifest as a compiled, easy-to-use, online application that can be run on any device so they can be accessed wherever the target audience is. The Sims utilizes a combination of text, audio, video, and still images that enable us to capture the Problems-of-Practice in an authentic and recognizable story inside of which participants can readily see themselves in the scenario so that the experience can be ‘sticky’. In this way, our approach to delivering the experience enables a sitting or aspiring leader to have a “lived experience” around a challenging Problem of Practice in a safe space as a self-paced or ‘just-in-time’ exercise. This is great for skill development and capacity building at the participant level, but the Experience Design Process, via deploying the experience, provides a roadmap for applying this development for the improvement of the School, District, or System. As schools deploy the Sims across a system, there is the opportunity to deploy the experience in groups or small-team or intact-teams settings, then participants have the additional opportunity and encouragement to bring their experience and expertise to any discussion and benefit from the experience of others as well in a focused and engaging manner. The Sims can therefore assist and be foundational support for School Transformation, Turnaround efforts, or any Culture/Climate improvement effort.
The Sims approach is powerful because it helps this on multiple levels simultaneously:
- Skill Development
- Practice Decision Making
- Team building
At the leadership or practitioner level, we capture the experience or articulate the Best/Worst Practices and more importantly, the thinking that went into making those practices good or bad. At the organizational level, we deploy the experience; we blend the experiential component with other PD content and modalities (i.e. workshops, meetings, mentoring, or on-the-job elements) that will ultimately enable success through the Blend. This deployment approach provides for a shared experience across the organization (building, district, state, or even the nation) that facilitates broader and deeper communication which fosters a stronger context for effective dialogue and execution. The shared experience gives anyone who has played the simulation a common reference point from both the situation as well as character perspective so that they can be referred to and understood.
This is the power of the Experience Design Process:
- Capture the Experience – Problem-of-Practice/Authoring
- Deliver the Experience – Individual Leader-Playing
- Deploy the Experience – System or Building
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