Sample Essay on the Benefits, Challenges of Games, Simulations, & “Instructional Strategies Timeline” Game

Adult learners rely a lot on experience for better learning. Simulations come from experience and not necessarily from just reading, testing, or discussions. Simulation and gaming provides a benefit of getting a constant, consistent, and immediate feedback between learners and instructors. The learners are therefore in a position to make adequate corrections and move forward and thus immediate application of knowledge (Conrad and Donaldson, 2011).

What are benefits and challenges of gaming in the context of online learning?

In online learning, gaming influences motivation and engagement of learners in a positive way as it provide a secure environment for learning that nurture skills acquisition. Challenges include; lack of learner motivation, technological expertise requirement, inadequate online technical support, and unclear real world implication of such learning.

Critique of the Instructional Strategies Timeline

Research has found out that learners have difficulty in connecting past events. Instructional strategies timelines would therefore help them understand the timeline of events and help position the newly encountered knowledge with those already studied. In addition, they provide the visual aid to identify the relationships of events to activate the student initial knowledge (Laureate Education Inc., 2012). Therefore, collectively they help develop long-term grasp of historical data.

To improve the timelines there is need to have clear expectations in advance to encourage students to work ahead.  Provide learners with enough time to complete their own timelines as it will ensure comprehensive and inclusive learning. There should be diverse reference materials readily available for the learners to access adequate information for learning.

Discuss the importance of keeping students motivated in an online environment

Motivation directs learner behavior towards specific learning goals. This is because it determines the particular goals, which learners endeavor to achieve. It also increases effort and energy in online learning environments since it determines whether a student can pursue a specific task or not (Laureate Education Inc., 2012). Last, it enhances cognitive processing and how information is synthesized making online learners pay attention and understands online learning materials (Laureate Education Inc., 2012).

Why is communication essential in distance learning environments?

Communication is important in distance learning environment because it enables sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information which contribute to learning. It is essential as it communicates course content via different media of tapes, videos, web etc. The learners will be informed about course content and other learning directions in addition to what is expected of them.


Conrad, R., & Donaldson, J. A. (2011). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction (Updated ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Laureate Education, Inc. (2012). Instructional strategies timeline game. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2012). Keeping the learner motivated and engaged transcript. Baltimore, MD: Author.