Case studies of elearning innovation 1

This week we need to pick and review 4 case studies. My first choice is a case study on simulated gaming. I’ve made this choice as whilst that I heard from time to time about this idea of learning through gaming (is this what simulated gaming is?!), I do not have any experience in this area.

Case study: Simulation Gaming in Business

Area:  Technology Enhanced Learning Environments

Institution: The University of Glamorgan

Author: Richard Tunstall

Link: University of Glamorgan – Case Study: University of Glamorgan, Simulation gaming in Business

The aim of this case study was to create and use a simulation game which would allow business students to  interactively examine a set of key concepts. Thus the idea behind this innovation is of doing experiential learning through simulation gaming. This is considered as innovative as it is using an approach which was not tried before in this particular institution.

This game simulation case study  was developed in order to overcome a conceptualisation problem which normally occurs through traditional learning.  In this game, the student is taking the role of a ‘Recruiting Manager’ and to complete the ‘game’ the student needs to move his avatar through different rooms whilst interacting with a number of characthers to acquire relevant information. Through such a simulation case study game, the student is immersed in an environment through which concepts are learned. This experience is supported through face-to-face instruction.

Such an activity fosters active over passive learning; ‘the benefit of the game over reading texts’. This simulation business game was embedded into the traditional teaching and staff could adopt it quiet easily.

The system’s development incorportated considerable planning where for example key problems were anticipated: motivation of students and teachers & teaching staff’s skills with such a tool. Moreover it was built whilst keeping in mind that this tool should be reusable for other courses.

In my opinion, an important stage in the development of this simulation is the inclusion of an evaluation process (pg 69). The development team is aware that for such an innovation to succeed, it needs to be embraced not just by themselves but also by the teaching staff and obviously the students. Thus preliminary training for staff and students was also delivered.

It is important to notice that this tool was successful in reaching the aims it was targeting.  Interestingly, staff requested the use of this tool for other modules and courses.

Perhaps, the innovative nature of such activities make students more motivated whereas if such a tool becomes the norm in courses, the aspect of innovation and thus extra motivation will be lost.

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4 thoughts on “Case studies of elearning innovation 1

  1. Hello Keith,

    I agree with your write up about this case study, one query what are your opinions about the case studies effectiveness?
    I wonder about the effect on learning outcomes, while the students were positive did they do better because of the inclusion of this game.
    For me this would be an important consideration if were a university embarking on a project like this as I’d wonder about the return on investment.
    Would it have been more useful to simply break down the case study into a series of formative assessments (much more boring I know) that tested the student’s knowledge?
    What are your thoughts?

    Damian

    1. Hi Damian,
      The author’s of the case study report that such an innovation was introduced mainly due to students’ lack of motivation in theoretical sessions. Moreover students appeared to support this initiative thus this was at least effective as face to face sessions.
      The authors do not say exactly if they fare better or worse in this course, but how this case study is written suggests that students do better in the acquisition of the concepts this course tries to disseminate.
      As this simulation forms part of a blended approach I believe that a series of formative assessments that you suggest may be easily integrated.

      You are focusing on the testing of the student’s knowledge. Is this all that learning is all about?
      Keith

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