Hands-on simulations are frequently used in secondary and higher (agricultural) vocational education, primarily for procedural and technical skills development.
What is the added value of hands-on simulations in an innovative vocational curriculum that also aims at developing competencies, such as problem solving and being innovative and inquisitive? The thesis shows that hands-on simulations can foster competency development. For stimulating more competency development in hands-on simulations, it is not enough to increase authenticity (realism) and ownership of students’ learning through self-directedness and self-regulation. This resulted in mixed results in this thesis. For future use of hands-on simulations it is important to involve students’ perceptions regarding authenticity and it is important that students are learned to use self-regulated and self-directed learning skills throughout the vocational curriculum.