Critical dimensions for the effective design and use of simulation exercises for emergency management in higher education

Vanessa Cooper, Giuseppe Forino, Sittimont Kanjanabootra, Jason von Meding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose

There is a need to provide more effective learning experiences for higher education (HE) students in transdisciplinary contexts such as disasters and emergency management. While much has been written on the value of simulation exercises (SEs) for emergency management practitioners, research has focussed less on their value for HE students. The purpose of this paper is to identify how a practitioner-oriented framework for the design and use of SEs in emergency management is relevant to the HE context and how this framework may need to be adapted to support effective learning by HE students.
Design/methodology/approach

An interpretive approach based on a qualitative content analysis of 16 semi-structured interviews with emergency management practitioners and educators is used to enable an in-depth understanding of the social phenomena to be obtained.
Findings

The paper highlights that a framework for the design and use of SEs for emergency management practitioners is potentially valuable in the HE context but should be applied in a nuanced way.
Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on a small number of interviews and future studies could usefully analyse a wider set of perspectives (e.g. students), using a variety of alternative methods (e.g. surveys), to further test and/or enrich the framework.
Practical implications

Insights from the paper can inform the design and use of SEs in the HE context with a view to supporting more effective learning that better prepares students to operate during disaster events when they enter the emergency management workforce.
Originality/value

This is the first paper that has investigated the value of a practitioner-oriented framework for the design and use of disaster SEs in the HE context. In so doing, the paper has highlighted how the dimensions of the framework apply in the HE context and has revealed other issues that need to be addressed to support effective learning by HE students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-549
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Higher Education
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2017

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