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Investigating student engagement with an electronically delivered simulation of professional practice

Billingham, Olivia


Olivia Billingham


Electronically delivered simulations of professional practice enable educators to place students in vocationally relevant situations or to experience events that would be impossible, or extremely difficult or costly to replicate without recent advances in technology. The Simulations in Higher Education (SHE) initiative (E-learning development unit) at the University of the West of England (UWE) is a focus for information and communication technology (ICT) supported simulations that are being developed across the university. The research presented here will focus on SIMulations in Transactional Activities (SIMITA), an online transactional learning environment (TLE) developed at UWE as part of the SHE initiative.

It is widely acknowledged that an engaged student stands to attain more academically than their disengaged counterparts as student engagement has been positively related to academic outcomes in many studies. In addition to the academic benefits, an engaged student is more likely to enjoy a better quality learning experience overall. In order that students can benefit fully from the enhanced learning experience that an electronically delivered simulation can provide, they must engage with that simulation.

A pilot evaluation of SIMITA revealed that students readily engaged with the simulation. The pilot considered system statistics of usage, student feedback and the willingness of students to participate in non-credit bearing activities. Following on from these preliminary findings, this poster will present the results of an investigation that utilised self-report questionnaires, a focus group and observations of participation in an attempt to explore student engagement with SIMITA. Further, the investigation considered other factors that might influence the students’ engagement with the simulation.

The findings presented will inform future iterations of this investigation with SIMITA and also other simulations that form part of the SHE initiative. This research will be of interest to educators who are considering or interested in blending online simulations into the curriculum or to educators who are interested in student engagement with electronic methods of teaching.

Presentation Conference Type Poster
Start Date Nov 10, 2011
Publication Date Nov 10, 2011
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Billingham, O. (2011, November). Investigating student engagement with an electronically delivered simulation of professional practice. Poster presented at 10th European Conference on E-learning
Keywords simulation, student engagement, electronically delivered simulation
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : 10th European Conference on E-learning


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