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SimLab classroom now at Murdoch University

The SimLab technology (formerly known as TeachLive) offers a unique blend of virtual reality technology and live human performance that creates a powerful and immersive learning simulations, for both pre-service teachers and practising teachers.

TEACHLIVE_groupShot_snip.JPGThe technology offers  a 'real time' mixed reality learning environment, with classroom pupils being represented by avatars that respond in real time. Actors are wired up behind scenes in Murdoch's SimLab to enable this. When virtual avatars are properly blended with human interactors, it is possible to induce very powerful behavioural and emotional responses. Research shows that users of the technology actually become empathetic to the emotions, abilities and circumstances of the avatar.

Teachers and education students can safely practice and master the complex interpersonal skills that are essential to their day-to-day performance on the job. Using the SimLab environment also enables ‘just-in-time’ feedback and opportunities to reflect on practice which is not afforded in a typical classroom setting. Users of the technology can safely take risks, from which they can learn how to improve their day-to-day performance. Click here to view the technology in action with Murdoch education students. To read student feedback, click here.

Click here to email the SimLab team at Murdoch to make a school booking, visit the facility, or to get more information.
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The SimLab technology, created by Univeristy of Central Florida Simulation Institute in collaboration with US company Mursion, is currently widely used in the US with more than 65 universities and other programs using it to prepare pre-service K-12 teachers for the challenges of teaching in today’s classrooms. Click here to see more. Similarly, K-12 school systems are using SimLab (known as TeachLive in the US) to help teachers hone their skills once on the job. Click here to see more. Murdoch University is one of only two universities in Australia to offer the SimLab technology.
 

About the Avatars - pupils & parents

Murdoch's SimLab currently offers five middle school aged (years 6 to 9)  avatars, each of whom displays their own personality and learning characteristics. In addition, there are three escalating levels of behaviour  that can be activated for each avatar, according to the skill set needs of the pre-service teacher and/or practising teacher.

In order to effectively practice parent interviews and conferencing, Murdoch's SimLab also offers three adult avators that take on the role of parents. Depending on context, these adult avators may also participate as a supervising teacher, a principal or other professional. They also have three levels of escalating beahviour that can be applied according to the training needs of the teacher or school.

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Scenarios for training

The SimLab technology allows the practice of a range of behaviour management skills and two-way communication skills in a non-threatening way for situations not always experienced in general classroom settings.

All types of instructional techniques can be rehearsed in SimLab's virtual reality classroom, including:

  • managing classroom behaviour
  • working with children with special needs, and
  • practicing specific instructional routines relevant to a particular subject area.

The SimLab technology is also capable of providing customized immersive training experiences for teacher leaders, assistant principals, and school principals, including:

  • Improving how leaders communicate with parents
  • Rehearsing how to effectively give feedback to a struggling teacher
  • Effectively facilitating team meetings to improve instruction and address achievement gaps

Click here to email the SimLab team at Murdoch to make a school booking, visit the facility, or to get more information.

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Feedback from our students:

"The concept allowed me to feel like it was a classroom set up, picking up the fact that we will have different personalities in the room and different levels of engagement with the students. Although they were Avatars, after a bit it just became liaising with the personalities and monitoring the other students in the class while speaking with the students individually. " - Maria Turner, Murdoch education student (M.Teaching Primary).

"I found interacting with the TeachLive [SimLab] Avatars a crucial pillar in my preparation for my first practicum. Although the Avatars were above Primary age, they provided valuable interaction with generic characteristics that would be found in most classrooms regardless of age. Additionally, the ‘live’ classroom provided a valuable insight in the time management of lesson plan and the need to adapt to circumstances as they occur....I would recommend TeachLive to all pre-service teachers." - Andrew Clouting, Murdoch education student (M.Teaching Primary).

View the video below for an example of what  SimLab/TeachLive can do. Also click here to see SimLab being used by Murdoch  students.

NOTE: Murdoch University in partnership with the University of Newcastle have a joint research project to monitor the SimLab implementation to their education students.

Click here to email the SimLab team at Murdoch to make a school booking, visit the facility, or to get more information.