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Simulations from the University of Glamorgan – how we made use of OER resources


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Slides from the presentation by Karen Counsell (University of Glamorgan) at the joint conference Open Educational Resources in the disciplines in October 2010.

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Simulations from the University of Glamorgan – how we made use of OER resources

  1. 1. Simulations from the University of Glamorgan – how we made use of OER resources Karen Counsell, Senior Lecturer, Law School [email_address]
  2. 2. Mock Moot Courtroom Traditional examples of simulation work
  3. 3. Using Simulations with our students - history <ul><li>Law School at Glamorgan part of the SIMPLE project – Simulated Professional Education. You can find out more about the project itself at: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>First used with year one students on the LLB then with undergraduate and postgraduate computer science students taking a law option. </li></ul><ul><li>Now in our fourth year. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Broadly, what how we approached this <ul><li>We “re-purposed” a personal injury scenario developed by Glasgow Graduate School of Law for their Legal Practice Course. </li></ul><ul><li>Changed to suit the needs of an academic based course but we adopted the basic underlying story. </li></ul><ul><li>Students followed the same team based approach, tutors played various characters. </li></ul><ul><li>. We relocated our story to play out in a fictional Welsh town called Cwmfelin. </li></ul>
  5. 5. How we approached re-using resources – more detail <ul><li>We were given the existing documents from GGSL and an idea of the story. </li></ul><ul><li>(Sometimes, inspiration is itself very helpful!) </li></ul><ul><li>Decided what objectives we wanted to achieve – they could not be the same as the GGSL as the original story was written for trainee solicitors, our cohort were first year students on an academic course of study. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The questions we asked ourselves. <ul><li>1. How does our cohort differ from the original target cohort? </li></ul><ul><li>2. What learning objectives were we hoping to achieve? </li></ul><ul><li>3. How much of the original story line/resources/characters could we re-use? </li></ul><ul><li>4. What time line would we require? How would this be delivered e.g. fact to face or entirely on line? </li></ul><ul><li>5. What resources would we need? </li></ul><ul><li>6. Identified the learning opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Outlined how much of the original documents we could re-use, any extra documents needed inside the simulation, any guidance documents needed for the students. 8. Considered our institutional requirements e.g. submission dates, assessment document itself. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>9. Confirmed a start and end date. 10. Used a sandbox activity (again, re-pursing an existing simulation) in order to introduce the students to the platform we would be using, in this case SIMPLE. Even if not using SIMPLE, we would need to consider how to introduce the students to the concept of a simulation. </li></ul><ul><li>11 Any additional resources needed? We could not follow the GGSL on line method of negotiation and had to adapt to classroom based. </li></ul><ul><li>12. After the first year, we reviewed, learnt from our experience and adapted. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Student attainment <ul><li>The students were engaged with ‘their’ simulation. </li></ul><ul><li>Measurable improvement in examination performance as well as course work attainment. </li></ul><ul><li>Students could see the relevance of the law. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The value of Simulations in general for students <ul><li>Student engagement – they all complete on time. </li></ul><ul><li>Very useful for students with special needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Students can’t rely on surface learning, they have to engage with the material. </li></ul><ul><li>Useful for distance learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Valuable in terms of working with other subject areas where you are servicing. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Should You Try using simulations? <ul><li>Students complimentary about the whole process, found it aided their learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows the students to fully engage with the material rather than indulge in surface learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Useful for cross disciplinary work if you want to work together on joint assessments. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t need detailed IT support to try out these ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>BUT do you have the time to develop them? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Usefulness of simulations as OERs <ul><li>Save on staff time in terms of actually creating the simulations and also provide ‘inspiration’ in terms of the story. They are cost effective. </li></ul><ul><li>They can be adapted for different subject areas or modules very easily. </li></ul><ul><li>In law, I found them useful for adaption to different jurisdictions. </li></ul><ul><li>Different subject areas can benefit from OERs e.g. opportunity to cross over in to more than one area. </li></ul><ul><li>You can adapt your own in-house simulation to suit different cohorts of students e.g. undergraduate/post graduate, as well as offering the simulation to the wider academic community. </li></ul><ul><li>They do not require extensive IT knowledge or resources. Word and power point can achieve these goals. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Usefulness of simulations as OERs continued. <ul><li>Adapting an existing simulation and posting it back to the community will benefit the original author too – they really don’t mind if you improve on the original. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows tutors from differently resourced educational institutions to engage with simulations. </li></ul><ul><li>Provides wider audience where you can demonstrate the work of your own department. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages the take up of simulations. Staff can feel daunted by something which appears demanding of time and resources. </li></ul><ul><li>They build up a community of practice which actively allows us to share ideas and to develop further research generally. </li></ul>
  13. 13. How Difficult was it to repurpose a simulation? <ul><li>We went on to develop simulations for computing studies students at undergraduate level and post graduate level. I developed a basic scenario based on domain name disputes in England and Wales, bought a domain name to preserve the realism. </li></ul><ul><li>This basic story line then adapted for each cohort – I thought about: * what are the learning outcomes I wish to cover? </li></ul><ul><li>*What story line will appeal to these students? </li></ul><ul><li>* How long can I run the simulation for? </li></ul><ul><li>* will I be able to interact with students in the classroom or is the simulation to be conducted totally at a distance? </li></ul><ul><li>* what is the professional background of the students? These students had no background in law. </li></ul>
  14. 14. How could others re-use the OER resources? <ul><li>I’d look at this question from two levels – as an individual tutor AND as a member of a community in terms of why one might wish to engage. Individual level </li></ul><ul><li>Inspiration in terms of the ‘story’. </li></ul><ul><li>Encouragement to use different methods of delivery. </li></ul><ul><li>Engage with the students using media that the students are comfortable with. </li></ul><ul><li>Improve your students performance in terms of marks and engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>Improving the quality of student learning – the tutor becomes a facilitator of learning, not centre stage. </li></ul>
  15. 15. How could others re-use the resources? <ul><li>Community level </li></ul><ul><li>Together we can build up a community of good ideas, learning from each other, offer guidelines for future use of simulations in general, not just our own individual scenarios. </li></ul>
  16. 16. So, how to actually re-use? Some general guidelines <ul><li>Decide if the basic story line is suitable in terms of learning outcomes, your students needs. </li></ul><ul><li>What time line will you run the simulation over? </li></ul><ul><li>Will you run the simulation face to face e.g. in a tutorial? </li></ul><ul><li>Would use of a VLE be suitable? If so, what platform will you use, what support will the students need? Any other resources required? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it fit in with your institution’s/professional body requirements? </li></ul><ul><li>Will colleagues support be needed? </li></ul><ul><li>Block out the story as a story board – you can then decide how much of the simulation you can actually re-use. Consider the detailed points I raised earlier when you actually decide what you can re-use. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Variations on a theme …… <ul><li>I’ve found that re-using simulations can take on many forms: </li></ul><ul><li>You may take a whole simulation ‘off the shelf’. </li></ul><ul><li>You might adapt an existing simulation to your own needs with minor changes and additions to the content/stages etc. </li></ul><ul><li>You might just be inspired by a scenario to re-write substantially to suit your own needs. </li></ul><ul><li>You might run a cut down version as a tutorial activity. </li></ul><ul><li>You could re-use your own simulation to fit the different needs of different cohorts. Overall, Simulations as OERs provide a rich resource for the teaching community. </li></ul>
  18. 18. References <ul><li>Simshare web site: http: </li></ul><ul><li>(You can view an on line video where students and staff from the University of Glamorgan reflect on the use of simulations and the value of repurposing resources). </li></ul><ul><li>The sister project of SIMPLE – you will find useful resources which explain the concepts involved in on line gaming. The underpinning pedagogy has a lot to offer the writer of simulations. </li></ul><ul><li>The SIMPLE project website: </li></ul><ul><li>The SIMPLE Community website: </li></ul><ul><li>Online staff tutorial for training in SIMPLE </li></ul><ul><li>Maharg, P. Transforming Legal Education, 2007, Ashgate Publishing </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>