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Enhancing the impact of online simulations through blended learning: A critical incident approach

Jonathan Lean (Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)
Jonathan Moizer (Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)
Robert Newbery (Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 8 April 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe an approach for utilising a critical incident method within the context of an online business simulation game in order to provide an effective framework for reflective learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a review of pertinent literature to place the critical incident technique within the novel context of simulation gaming. Through presenting a case study of practice, it goes on to describe a blended learning approach that combines online simulation with post-simulation reflection based on the critical incident method. An action research approach is adopted as a framework for reflection on practice.

Findings

From a conceptual perspective, there are a number of potential benefits to employing a critical incident approach combined with simulation gaming. The ability of educators to compress time frames and manage the introduction of critical incidents allows students to learn in a way that would not be possible in the real world. Furthermore, carefully designed post-simulation debriefing, structured around a critical incident framework, has the potential to enhance the learning impact of online simulation.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited in that a single case study context is described. Further evaluation research is required to fully assess the benefits of the approach adopted.

Originality/value

The study explores the use of the critical incident approach within the novel context of online simulation gaming. It provides educators with a blended learning method that can be employed to enhance the impact of e-learning through structured reflection.

Keywords

Citation

Lean, J., Moizer, J. and Newbery, R. (2014), "Enhancing the impact of online simulations through blended learning: A critical incident approach", Education + Training, Vol. 56 No. 2/3, pp. 208-218. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-01-2013-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited