Simulated assessment

What is a simulated assessment?

A key part of the learning experience is the sharing of new information - some would say that an even more important step is that the learner uses, adapts, critiques or applies the information in a situation that closely resembles the intended context. For example, pharmacy students often learn information about drugs and their interactions. Better learning occurs when they practice applying that knowledge in a pharmacy, or in a simulated pharmacy.

Assessment, in its broadest meaning, is the opportunity to apply information for practice (this informs the learner if they have mastered the new information, and is often referred to as formative assessment), or for a record of achievement (such as marks - this is often referred to as summative assessment). Games use this technique: the player is immersed in a context, has tasks and quests, and learns through trial and error to advance to more challenging tasks and levels.

The same principles can be applied to simulated contexts in assessment. Deakin Learning Futures can develop simulations and virtual worlds that include interaction, tasks, quizzes, 2D and 3D visual elements, feedback and even points.

Ideally, simulations resemble the graduate's intended professional context, giving the student an encounter that is likely to be experienced in a real world scenario. When simulating the experience of meeting with a client for instance, if a student asks an irrelevant question the client may express frustration. Simulations help students learn how to handle real situations.

Examples of simulations are available below. In the 'pressure point!' simulation, the story changes as events change, and public relations students are under pressure to publish a statement that may constitute a conflict of interest. The School of Communication and Creative Arts has found this simulation helpful in enhancing student work-readiness.

Deakin Learning Futures produces other kinds of interactive resources that enhance learning. For instance, 3D animations can be built when course leaders want students to learn about anatomy or engineering components, botany, buildings, and so on. Almost any textual content can be manipulated by Deakin Learning Futures into an interactive and engaging learning resource.

For enquiries and assistance contact Deakin Learning Futures: email learningfutures@deakin.edu.au

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Example 1: Medical Simulation

Features:  Simulating medical practices to better prepare students to respond accordingly in real life medical situations.

Challenges: Time and resource intensive; accurate and extensive scripting may be required

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Example 2: Medical Simulation

Features:  Simulating medical practices to better prepare students to respond accordingly in real life medical situations.

Challenges: Time and resource intensive; accurate and extensive scripting may be required


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Example 3: Medical Simulation

Features: Simulating medical practices to better prepare students to respond accordingly in real life medical situations.

Challenges: Time and resource intensive; accurate and extensive scripting may be required

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Example 4: Medical Simulation

Features:  Simulating medical practices to better prepare students to respond accordingly in real life medical situations.

Challenges: Time and resource intensive; accurate and extensive scripting may be required


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Example 5: Time pressure simulation

Features:  Designed to provide an experience of working within time constraints

Challenges: Time and resource intensive; accurate and extensive scripting may be required

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Example 6: Information gathering

Features: Interview practice; gives students practice and feedback on interviewing skills

Challenges: Time and resource intensive; accurate and extensive scripting may be required


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Example 7: Information gathering

Features: Interview practice; gives students practice and feedback on interviewing skills

Challenges: Time and resource intensive; accurate and extensive scripting may be required

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Example 8: Exploration environment
(Located learning in the cloud using ViewQuest)

Features: Free association with content can allow students freedom to learn what they want and how they want to learn through video matrix

Challenges: Multiple interviews may be required along with intense editing


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Example 9: Visible or hands on interaction

Features: Practice with trial and error for greater understanding

Challenges: Time and resource intensive

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Example 10: Simple games

Features: A gaming environment enables a degree of immersion into a virtual environment, with inbuilt rewards and consequences

Challenges: Time and resource intensive, gaming knowledge required


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Example 11: Virtual worlds

Features: Virtual worlds can be low tech (web spaces) or high tech (Second life)

Challenges: Depends on the degree of technical sophistication

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Example 12: Day care sim

Features: Authored in Sim writer which typically is quick to develop


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Example 13: Virtual reality geology excursion

Features: Incorporates QuickTimeVR (Virtual Reality) and real photographic footage within HTML page to allow students realistic research and discovery of geological features in a specified location

Challenges: QuickTime VR processing and initial photography at location may be time consuming. Html template and general interface design time dependant on complexity

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Example 14: Paediatric asthma simulation (Time sensitive scenario)

Features: Incorporates data entry, recorded video segments, and an eSim component

Challenges: Live action video requires intensive scripting, actors need careful coaching from author/s to portray specific medical scenarios


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Example 15: Virtual maternity clinic

Features: Incorporates data entry, drag and drop components and recorded video segments.

Challenges: Careful scripting and casting of video segments.

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Example 16: Deakin point - information gathering

Features: An environment for presenting patient documents and interviews

Challenges: Scripting and casting of authentic video segments.


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Example 17: Terrorism, transnational crime and security - information gathering

Features: Incorporates Google Maps into a custom web environment allowing for instant updates to important global points of interest.

Challenges: Minimal. If resource materials are well prepared by client, this can be made available reasonably quickly. Interface design and complexity of site structure will affect timeline accordingly.

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Example 18: Annotated video interface

Features: Provides access to annotated video clip segments

Challenges: Time consuming editing of video segments. Templated interface provides quick development of subsequent projects


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