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Friday, January 13 • 3:10pm - 3:30pm
"Game on: designing, developing and evaluating a simulation game to develop school leaders"

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This session looks at early stages of a PhD focused on the design, iterative development and evaluation of the effectiveness of a 3D computer-based simulation game for aspiring school leaders, in which the player is required to run a school for a day, interacting with non-player characters and receiving feedback from a virtual coach. 

There are a number of potential benefits to the use of simulation games within learning and development. These include being able to speed up or slow down time in so that processes or outcomes become easier to observe and participants receive rapid feedback on their decisions, and being able to repeat or re-run a simulation in order to try out different ideas, something which is rarely possible outside of a simulation environment. Computer-based simulations are therefore widely used as part of training programs across military, healthcare and corporate organisations, primarily where practising or assessing a skill in a ‘real-life’ situation would be expensive, dangerous or time-consuming.

In line with medical or military trainees, opportunities for classroom experience during teacher training programs are seen as vitally important; however, this can be hard to deliver in a low-consequence context that allows teachers to truly explore and experiment with their classroom practice. The potential benefits of simulation use mean that despite the challenge of simulating less clearly defined skills, there have been some attempts to develop computer simulations to help build teaching skills, including Ferry & Kervin's (2007) simulated classroom in which participants make decisions around classroom management, and SimSchool, designed for use in teacher training, which takes a more feedback and assessment-focused stance (Gibson 2007). However, there has previously been limited focus on use of simulation in school leadership; the Penn Educational Leadership Simulation program, the ‘In the Centre of Things (ITCOT)’ simulation of decision making during school improvement (Peterson 2001), and Administrator Case Simulation (Lopes et al., 2013) are all closer to branching scenarios than true simulation. 


Vivian Mun

Faculty, CalStateTEACH

avatar for Catherine Scutt

Catherine Scutt

Head of Learning Technology and Innovation, Girls' Day School Trust
Passionate about teaching and learning, research, CPD, creating communities, and effective use of digital technology.

Friday January 13, 2017 3:10pm - 3:30pm PST