ALDinHE workshop – BU Presentation

Engaging students in deep and meaningful learning through simulation

Dr David Biggins (BUBS), Prof Debbie Holley (DNS), Dr Ben Goldsmith (FLIE), Bournemouth University and Dr Jacq Priego, University of Portsmouth

This year the ALDinHE national conference workshop was hosted at the University of Portsmouth, and our workshop proposal was based on the ideas of how we engage students in deep and meaningful learning, which carefully designed simulation offers. Simulations from health, business and psychology were explored with the conference participants, and we wrote a briefing paper on the theory to underpin the work.

“Well-designed simulations of situations that students may face in future professional life can facilitate deep learning and engagement and can constitute “optimal learning moments” or OLMs (Schneider et al 2016). Drawing from psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s (2002) work on “flow” or deep, enjoyable absorption in a situation or task, and related to Stephen Heppell’s research on “best learning moments” (Heppell 2013), for Schneider et al (2016, 415), OLMs are times when students are “most receptive to learning and instruction”. They are triggered by “situational engagement” in which students experience heightened levels of interest, skill and challenge simultaneously. ….

Simulation theory briefing paper

Scan the QR code to access the briefing paper:

QR code for briefing paper


Prof Debbie Holley

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