Friday, December 12, 2014

Office for Learning and Teaching Grant Success

I am delighted to announce that our group has secured a $50,000 grant from the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching to develop a concept for a disaster resilience system simulator.

The project, entitled 'Modelling disaster resilience: enhancing student learning through trans-disciplinary simulation of wicked scenarios (RES-SIM)​', will be carried out by a project team led by Dr von Meding, supported by Dr Giggins and Dr Kanjanabootra from UoN and Dr Vanessa Cooper from RMIT.

This project has already attracted some media interest, with the ABC running a story online and on local radio

The project team are very pleased to be able to work on this project and look forward to getting up and running in early 2015! I have included a summary below. 

Project Summary:

The RES-SIM project is a collaboration between the University of Newcastle and RMIT University that proposes to develop the conceptual model for a virtually distributed computer-based teaching and learning tool that enables students within and across disciplines (e.g. engineering, architecture, logistics), both on and off campus, to collaboratively acquire essential decision-making skills through immersion in a dynamic disaster system simulation. The concept stems from game theory, competition theory and system theory. Societal systems and subsystems (e.g. health systems, transport systems, political systems) are vulnerable to a range of destabilising variables, from the immediate impacts of disasters (natural or man-made) on various system components to the subsequent responses of decision-makers. In many fields, including disaster response, simulations generally rely upon face-to-face, resource intensive scenarios or involve ‘event-based’ simulations, which fail to fully engage the systems of society that are impacted by shocks and hazards. Students are emerging from higher education with theoretical knowledge of complex systems but little in the way of tangible experience. Phase 2 of the RES-SIM project (beyond the scope of this project) will create a simulation tool that recognises these dynamics, while allowing the ‘game’ controller the flexibility to manipulate the conditions during the simulation itself to mimic the chaotic nature of disaster scenarios. This will create an environment that yields rich participatory experiences for students and embedded conceptual learning.

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