Occasionally when working with faculty we hear them say "there is this fun and interactive thing I do in my class that I can't imagine how we can replicate online". Often we can find a way with an interactive simulation, a game, or multi-user virtual space. Several examples of interactive media:
Simulations allow us to interact with a physical model or abstract process. Common examples of simulations include mechanical bulls, flight simulators, and the digital simulation game SimCity. In those occasions where you need an interactive way to help your students understand a difficult concept or process a simulation may be the way we meet that need. Examples of simulation developed by the eLearning team include:
- Foundations in Homeland Security
- Medication Management for Older Adult Patients
- Wind Turbine Generator Physics
Often case studies are the best way to get students engaged in a topic or process. Case studies have been part of the educational fabric for a long time especially in medicine, business and the military. For example, maybe you want your students assume the role of a school councilor dealing with a difficult or possibly dangerous student. The case study provides simulated information gathering from multiple resources and then takes students through the process of accessing the case.
A case study can also include an online journal that students use to write down their findings and then compare to possible answers. This journal is then emailed to the instructor once the case study is completed.
Using professional design tools and processes, NIU eLearning staff create games to engage learners in a broad array of experiences, including academic topics such as political science, research, engineering, and statistics, and more applied topics such as, homeland security and fire and emergency medical response. We also have several reusable games, which can be repurposed with your content, such as:
3D Virtual Spaces
An area of recent interest in online teaching and learning is the use of 3D virtual spaces, like Minecraft or Opensimulator. These environments are perfect for courses such as introduction to computer programming, 3D design, fashion design, architectural design, space planning, virtual communication, social networking, game design, counseling, and much more. These spaces can be used as a point of discussion, a 3D design space, research, or simulations. NIU eLearning Services hosts both of these sites on NIU servers for faculty and students interested in exploring these spaces for teach, learning, and research.
For additional information about interactive media production contact Aline Click at email@example.com.