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Using Online Simulation to Engage Users in an Authentic Learning Environment

Using Online Simulation to Engage Users in an Authentic Learning Environment
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Author(s): Brian Ferry (University of Wollongong, Australia) and Lisa Kervin (University of Wollongong, Australia)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 17
Source title: Gaming and Simulations: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-195-9.ch514

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Abstract

This chapter describes how we used an authentic learning framework (Herrington & Oliver, 2000) to inform the design of an online simulation that included gaming features specifically designed to enhance learner engagement. We describe our analysis of user responses to the simulation, focusing particularly on learner engagement and what the users learned from using the software. Our research revealed that users initially approached the software from a gaming framework, however with extended interaction with the software, moved toward treating the virtual experience as an authentic environment, even to the point of empathizing with some of the virtual characters and downloading some of the support material that they might use in real classrooms. We offer some explanations for this change and conclude the chapter by identifying future directions for researchers who may be interested in this field.

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