Open educational resources may include “tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge” (Atkins, Brown & Hammond, 2007). Our purpose in this session is to promote a widening of the types of OER and associated techniques used in education beyond traditional media, to include simulations. We suspect significant impediments to the use of simulations among educators include perceived complexity to develop, cost to acquire and lack of understanding of their potential uses in education. However, opportunities to create low-cost, effective simulations are facilitated by the ability to remix OER to create media-rich simulations. If by choice or neglect we limit our use of OER solely to traditional techniques, by default the development of such potentially valuable techniques as simulations will remain proprietary, left to commercial publishers and producers.
There are few agreed-upon definitions of such areas as games, serious games, simulations and similar terms (Connolly et al., 2012). More importantly, simulations are often referenced as a technology and less as a specific learning design or technique. Our focus is on simulations as a learning design for authentic, experiential learning (Kolb, 2015; Petraglia, 1998). Practice and experimentation within a simulation environment build knowledge and skills that may then be applied to analogous real-world settings.
An experiential approach to learning by simulation is enhanced by open pedagogies, including dialogical and reflective processes of post-simulation debriefing, eliciting meanings and perceived validity of the interactions between the participant(s) and the simulation elements, not necessarily in terms of only absorbing the simulation’s version of reality, but also in building new knowledge unique to the participant and his or her situation or context. This approach presents simulation activities in which participants may experiment and develop their own solutions rather than be delivered ready content with embedded answers, which suggests that learning extends beyond the elements encountered in the simulation to include diverse perspectives. Debriefing in this case provides an opportunity to reflect upon, consolidate and generalize learning.
Session attendees will participate in a presentation and discussion about the purpose, structures, content and pedagogy of simulations in education, and will consider how remixing OER can be incorporated in low-cost experiential learning designs that may be used in their own practice.
Atkins, D., Brown, J., & Hammond, A. (2007). A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: Achievements, Challenges, and New Opportunities.
Connolly, T., Boyle, E., MacArthur, E., Hainey, T., & Boyle, J. (2012). A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games. Computers & Education, 59(2), 661-686. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.03.004
Kolb, D. (2015). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development (Second edition. ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education.
Petraglia, J. (1998). Reality by design: The rhetoric and technology of authenticity in education (Rhetoric, knowledge, and society). Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum.