It’s the last morning of TLC, but I’m not going to be there because of flight commitments (and I’m sulking about getting beaten by Amanda in Innovation last night). As last time, it’s been such a rich experience that I want to start working through the many points I’ve built up already now.

However, the first thing is to echo Chad’s point that is has been immensely gratifying to meet so many people who read this blog. I’ll admit, it’s a bit (i.e. a lot) creepy to have someone you’ve never met before turn around, their eyes widen and then whisper “it’s susherwood!” in a general air of disbelief – but it’s also really cool.

From my perspective, as the old world anchor of the ALPS group, I don’t get to interact in the same way with them (or you, our global audience notwithstanding) and so most of my contribution comes from the little conversations in my head. To have time and space to talk to a room full of people is amazingly helpful for me.

It’s also just so good to know that people read the stuff we do, because we simply don’t get a sense of that otherwise (well, I don’t, at least). Several people have said to me and the others how useful and/or stimulating some of our posts have been and that’s great, but also a bit frustrating, because I know I would like to be in on those conversations you have. The reason is simply that even with the work we’ve done, we’re still learning too and it’s in the interactions that we can advance our practice.

A meme recently, indicating how many years this joke has been going on already

So please do comment on our posts and/or volunteer entire posts, since it can only help us all. Those of you we met will know that we don’t bite, that Chad really does have a wife, that Kim Kardashian memes don’t always travel well and that we struggle to organise a meal out together. Only you can help.

In the coming days/weeks, I hope I can build on some of the conversations and thoughts I’ve had here in Long Beach. These are going to include (you’ll note I’m doing what I did last week with building in commitments):

    • How far should we design simulations to the specific characteristics of students, as compared to pushing them out of comfort zones? (following the Sims 1 track);
    • What do we need to know in order to successfully share a simulation? (Amanda);
    • The importance of affective buy-in as an outcome of simulations, alongside improvements in assessment performance (Marsha Lyle-Gonga);
    • Simulations as a reflection of designer preoccupations (Michael Lyons);
    • Reality versus abstraction in simulation design(our TLC workshop);
    • Potential new simulations on the EU (Amy Forster Rothbart), preparation and fantasy drafts (Dave Bridge) and collective decision-making (Taiyi Sun).

But you can and should ask us to address points too: we certainly don’t know it all and there’s plenty we don’t even think to question or discuss.

So thank you once again for making this worthwhile and we look forward to hearing from you all soon. And not just “Susherwood…!”