Institute of Teaching and Learning

DeakinSims: Experiences in Learning Experience Design

About DeakinSims

The DeakinSims program of digital simulation developments aims to establish new learning relationships with students, inviting engagement in roles and situated professional knowledge building. It is affecting the way complex professional practices are learned and assessed. DeakinSims ask students to use cognitive and practical skills to identify and solve dilemmas that challenge their knowledge, values and emotions. The program contributes to student engagement and learning through 'learning experience design' which aims to achieve immersion in authentic, integrated experiences, consciously operating on a personal level embracing the emotional dimension of learning.

Screenshot of Emergency Medicine eSim

Deakin University has deliberately sustained a cohesive digital simulations program to facilitate its flexible teaching and learning goals. The program demonstrates a distinctive and coherent use of innovative technologies to ensure Deakin's evidence-based learning, teaching and assessment practices are at the forefront of international trends and standards. DeakinSims represents a deliberate strategy to build 'blended learning' environments providing multi-mode opportunities for all students.

The DeakinSims program is a successful and growing body of work, having created a wide range of easy to use, flexible eSimulations online and on CD-ROM. This portfolio of original simulations has also increased the engagement of academic staff in the use of different approaches to teaching and assessing. The following staff have presented their work on different types of simulations, including Second Life at the annual Deakin Teaching and Learning Conferences:


  1. Partnering to create evidence-based e-learning for medical students: engaging the flexibility of simulations: Sharyn Milnes
  2. Simulated business analysis in an e-commerce project: Lemai Nguyen, John Lamp, Marie vander Klooster
  3. Post evaluation of the Virtual Maternity Clinic: Diane Phillips, Maxine Duke, Cate Nagle, Gery Karantzas, Susie Macfarlane, Denise Patterson
  4. Flexible partnering: Deakinopolis and the cross-faculty virtual team scenario: Karen Le Rossignol, Jo Coldwell
  5. Virtual families: simulation for students in paediatric practice: Karen Jackson
  6. Collaborate to deconstruct: online role-play to support a poststructuralist approach: Mary Dracup
  7. 20 years of collaboration: the Middle East Politics Simulations: Sally Totman.


  1. Online Live Sim: Using avatars to enhance therapeutic communication: Sue Rittmeyer
  2. Getting lost in other worlds: Adrian Bruch
  3. Symposium - Teaching and learning with Web 2.0 technologies at Deakin University: Ian Warren, Tanya King, Claire Spivakovsky, Chad Whelan, Ian Clarke, Janette Grenfell, Fiona Phillips, Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, Deirdre Quinn-Allan, Adrian Bruch, Bronwyn Kirby, Stephen Segrave and Claire Macken Convenor: Naomi Augar.


  1. Know Your Client: Financial Planning: Mike Kerry and Bruce Clayton
  2. Conversations on demand: Developing professional skills with conversational characters: Jacob Cybulski and Stephen Segrave
  3. Building evidence about the efficacy of eSimulations in education for the professions: Stephen Segrave and Peter Poteralski


  1. Simulating educational experiences for large classes to learn professional skills: Jacob Cybulski
  2. Use of simulated interviews in psychology: Alex Mussap
  3. UnReal Interviewing: Virtual forensic interviewing of a child: Martine Powell
  4. PD workshop: InSims: Simulated Learning Designs facilitating experiential learning of professional skills: Stephen Segrave, Jacob Cybulski & Craig Parker

Further information is available on the site for the Deakin Annual Teaching and Learning Conference and related professional development.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

13th June 2011