Leading from the Engine room

Simulation Australasia
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 2016 Australasian Simulation Congress, 2016
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This paper explores working relationships and leadership challenges facing those who work in teams to create simulation-based learning environments. Drawing on the authors' experiences, and relevant case studies, it explores tensions, triumphs and the ongoing learning involved in collaborative ventures producing effective online learning activities. The view is 'from the engine room' at the point where technology and design expertise reframe creative ‘story boards’ into ‘interactive learning experiences’. Gaps between existing and emergent expertise can cause friction, especially when requirements associated with new skills are not understood or appreciated. We explore the potential for aware and conscious leadership of collaborative simulation design spaces engaging in a range of paradigmatic thinking and requiring productive harnessing of diversity. Creating scenario based learning environments requires an understanding of both the content, and the array of learning pathways now available for assuring acquisition of new knowledge and insights. An appreciation of pitfalls likely to hinder this design process is particularly vital. The process usually begins with a learning concept derived from some identified need or goal, and progresses to development of a scenario for engaging and challenging learners using face-to-face or online formats. Scenarios are developed using specific, and specialised artefacts and technologies to create interactive learning environments, and the introduction of computer-based technologies makes the process even more complex, with highly specialised skills contributing particular elements. More and more people are involved at each step, and an increasing number of specialisations now contribute to the final product. We use existing Human Computer Interaction practices to explore the designer - developer interface and consider how to develop aware and conscious leadership from within this emergent complexity. Words penned by George Harrison (1967) aptly encapsulate our theme - “We were talking about the space between us all”
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