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Simulation-based learning in tertiary-level disaster risk management education: a class-room experiment

Jerry Chati Tasantab (School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
Thayaparan Gajendran (School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
Toinpre Owi (School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
Emmanuel Raju (Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, and African Centre for Disaster Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Article publication date: 1 September 2021

Issue publication date: 6 January 2023

312

Abstract

Purpose

Conventional lecture-based educational approaches alone might not be able to portray the complexity of disaster risk management practice and its real-life dynamics. One work-integrated learning practice that can give students practical work-related experiences is simulation-based learning. However, there is a limited discourse on simulation-based learning in disaster risk management education at the tertiary level. As tertiary education plays a crucial role in developing capabilities within the workforce, simulation-based learning can evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive fashion. This paper aims to present outcomes of simulation-based learning sessions the authors designed and delivered in a disaster risk management course.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors developed a framework to illustrate simulation-based learning in a disaster risk management programme. It was then used as a guide to design and execute simulation-based learning sessions. An autoethnographic methodology was then applied to reflectively narrate the experiences and feelings during the design and execution of the simulations.

Findings

The evaluation of the simulation sessions showed that participants were able to apply their knowledge and demonstrate the skills required to make critical decisions in disaster risk reduction. The conclusion from the simulation-based learning sessions is that making simulation-based learning a part of the pedagogy of disaster risk management education enables students to gain practical experience, deliberate ethical tensions and practical dilemmas and develop the ability to work with multiple perspectives.

Originality/value

The simulated workplace experience allowed students to experience decision-making as disaster risk management professionals, allowing them to integrate theory with practice.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Jerry Chati Tasantab and Toinpre Owi received scholarships from the University of Newcastle, Australia for their PhD studies.

Research Funding: No funding was obtained for this research.

Citation

Tasantab, J.C., Gajendran, T., Owi, T. and Raju, E. (2023), "Simulation-based learning in tertiary-level disaster risk management education: a class-room experiment", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 21-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-04-2021-0045

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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