Davidovitch, L., A. Parush and A. Shtub, International Journal of Engineering Education, March 2009, Vol. 25, No. 2, 333–340(8)
Following previous research on the effectiveness of simulators in teaching project management, and research on the impact of history recording mechanisms on learning and forgetting, at individual level and at team level, this study focuses on the functional fidelity of the simulator. The simulator with high functional fidelity used in this study had two advanced project management functions: the ability to hire/fire employees and the ability to split activities. A group of 199 industrial engineering
students were divided into two main groups with only one group having access to the advanced functions. Within each group the students were subdivided into sub-groups that used three different history-keeping modes: automatic (simulator-controlled), manual (student-controlled), and a third mode with no history keeping. All the groups used the same scenarios for training. The performance of participants who were running the simulation with higher functional fidelity (i.e., with advanced functions) was significantly better than that of participants running the simulation without these capabilities. Furthermore, the students' decisions on when to record the history during
the training process had a particularly strong enhancing effect on the learning process.
Keywords: project management; simulator fidelity; decision making