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4 Ways Simulation Software Is Effective in Online Technical Training

Monday 17 Sep 2018

As technology continues to improve and individuals continue seeking flexible learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom, online education has become an increasingly popular choice for academic and professional training.

As a result, many colleges and universities now offer a large variety of online courses across various industries that deliver unique content through online lectures, online modules and tutorials, and interactive discussion boards.

Hands-on-experience is especially important in technical training. George Brown College School of Distance Education (SDE) bridges the learning gap between theoretical learning and hands-on-experience in its technical training programs by integrating simulation software such as CircuitLogix, 3D Lab, RoboLogix, and PLCLogix into its online distance education certificate programs.

Here are four ways simulation software can be effective in training:

1. Teaches and Demonstrates Abstract Concepts

What sets the used simulation software apart from traditional approaches is that simulation software can contain visuals such as 3D animated diagrams and demonstrations that transform abstract concepts into concrete examples that make it easier for students to visualize material. The behaviour and relationship between various parts of a system can be seen, leading to enhanced understanding and retention of the content. For example, the PLCLogix software provides a method of learning the operation of a sophisticated tag-based PLC system by using simulation to demonstrate the operation of ladder logic programs.

PLCLogix Graphic User Interface

2. Interactive

Simulation software is interactive and changes based on user action, which makes lessons enjoyable and bridges the gap between theoretical and practical applications. Students gain first-hand knowledge and experience working with the functions, programs, and tools of the industry through a simulated environment. In particular, using a tool like CircuitLogix allows the user the freedom to change part or component values and rerun the simulation to see how these changes affect the circuit operation and performance.

The simulation software that George Brown Technical Training programs use (RoboLogix, CircuitLogix, PLCLogix ,3D Lab, etc.) emulate real world applications, and allow students to study while replicating and experiencing a simulated real world work environment (e.g. a plant or factory). For example, PLCLogix is a PLC simulation that replicates the operation of the Allen Bradley Rockwell series of PLC control software.

3. Encourages Experimentation

As simulation software is interactive, students can further personalize their learning experience by performing individual experiments on simulated equipment. In the real world classroom setting, there may be a limited number of equipment in the classroom and students might have to share, leading to limited time with the equipment. With simulation software however, students have unlimited time to experiment and practice freely, experiment in a safe and controlled environment, and avoid possible damage of real and expensive equipment. Engagement makes it easier to understand, process, and retain information while enriching the entire learning experience.

Within GBC SDE’s PLC Technician certificate program, students have access to the PLCLogix simulation tool, which allows them to control the virtual environment and run through multiple “what if” scenarios. “What if” scenarios are scenarios where students can learn and experiment with various functions, and implement programs and modern control applications without risk of injury to themselves or their environment. This simulation software contains over 250 prebuilt labs, including 50 lab projects presented in 10 3D PLC applications.

4. Performance Assessment

As students are able to experiment and take assessments in simulation software, the software can provide immediate feedback on activities such as indicating errors and results, allowing students to continuously learn and improve knowledge and skills. The software can also provide an objective, standardized, and quantitative measure of a student’s performance, and perhaps provide a tailored list of further resources for concepts a student is struggling with.

In Short

As technology continues to evolve, so do the tools used for education. Integrating digital technologies enhances and enriches the learning experience, and simulation-based training has numerous learning advantages ranging from demonstrating abstract concepts to encouraging students to become more experimentative to help them bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical applications. All these factors can result in effective training and preparation for students for work in their industry!

If you’re interested in finding out more about the programs or the simulation software used in the Online Technical Certificate Training Programs at George Brown College, contact us! You can speak to a Program Consultant toll-free at 1 888-553 5333 or email us at info@gbctechtraining.com.


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