Each area of professional competency faces its own challenges in providing relevant training before workplace practice. In public service and industry, too much is expected of students learning from their apprenticeship phase, compromising reliability or safety. Trainees lack opportunities to practise applying “inert” knowledge to a real task context, while in a risk-free environment.
Interactive virtual scenarios (VS) or simulations (Scenario-Based Learning; SBL) are recognised by many teaching and learning communities as effective tools for developing reasoning, and for safe training in workplace competency. However, the approach is challenging for educators to understand, and does not fit easily into conventional platforms either pedagogically or technically.
This project takes SBL ‘out-of-the-box’, to make it more accessible for a wide range of professions. Developments will include the ability to embed SBL activities directly into learning platforms and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), adding renewed pedagogic value and ease-of-use to learners through improved integration, progress monitoring, and the delivery of feedback. By embedding SBL, MOOCS will enable development of real world skills, competency and experience rather than knowledge. The provision of training materials in multiple languages, including a ‘How to create Virtual Scenarios’ MOOC, will make VS more accessible for educators. The project will sustain and disseminate these activities through an extended partnership, the ‘WAVES’ network.