Int. J. of Learning Technology   »   2013 Vol.8, No.3



Title: Situated learning in accident investigation: a virtual world simulation case study


Author: Liz Falconer


Address: Education Innovation Centre, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK


Abstract: Educators have increasingly been drawn to virtual worlds to investigate their potential for enhancing teaching and learning. This case study describes, discusses and evaluates the experiences of postgraduate environmental health students undertaking an accident investigation in a virtual world. Overall the students found the experience authentic and that it facilitated social interaction, two of the key characteristics of situated learning. They also felt that the experience in the virtual world had a sense of realism that could be effectively transferred into their work activities in the physical world. Analysis of performance in summative assessment demonstrated slightly higher achievement in the part of the module that incorporated the accident investigation exercise and a wider discrimination between high and low performance than the other parts of the module. Evidence from the study demonstrated that simulated accident investigation in a virtual world can have significant benefits for learning.


Keywords: situated learning; virtual worlds; experiential learning; Second Life; accident investigation; postgraduate students; environmental health education; e-learning; electronic learning; online learning.


DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2013.057062


Int. J. of Learning Technology, 2013 Vol.8, No.3, pp.246 - 262


Available online: 04 Oct 2013



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