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Globally, there is a focus by technology companies and educators to collaborate and leverage on the affordances of simulation technology to provide innovative, world leading learning environments. This focus is both commendable and strategic. However, in such a race is optimising educational outcomes being overshadowed by organisational agendas which require participation as the key outcome and high fidelity as the conduit? Is it necessary to have the highest level of fidelity available in order to provide realistic contextualised learning environments? Conducting comprehensive evaluations of participation in a simulation based learning exercise has the potential to reveal a plethora of information which informs the technology design community, the wider education community and importantly, the adequacy of the specific simulation exercise. This paper presents a case study of an evaluation undertaken on two different technology assisted simulation based learning exercises and environments, the common denominator being the development of decision making skills for high risk high stakes policing situations. The evaluation project has contributed to understanding the influence of simulation based learning exercises far beyond the immediacy of participation and surface competencies. Evaluative research which captures the experiences of the participants in simulation exercises offers valuable insights which contribute to the financial, pedagogical and technology considerations for the future of simulation based learning.