Imagine a classroom where you can learn how to teach or practice to teach more effectively. Imagine teaching in a friendly, safe and controlled environment that meet your needs and allow you to experiment on different teaching strategies and techniques on virtual students that behave as real. Imagine being able to design authentic learning experiences based on your own daily work experiences.
Would you like to test your lesson before implementing it into your classroom and identify any possible mistakes without worrying for the consequenses on your students? Would you like to maximize the academic performance of your classroom via constant training? Would you like to maximize your teaching expertize and enhance your self-efficacy, self-esteem and confidence?
SimAULA can help you enhance your classroom and behavior management skills within a safe and fun virtual classroom environment. The most significant aspect of using SimAULA is that it provides you with lived experiences that are transferrable to the real classroom setting. During the game you are the teacher and you will have the opportunity to experience a rich variety of real-life classroom situation scenarios. You have the ability to decide the topic for the lesson, the method of facilitation, and the time and equipment used for each part of your session. Throughout the game, you will be scored on how appropriate your decisions are to the situation, and how well you have managed to retain the attention of the class. Virtual students will give feedback and answer questions, and disruptive students need to be dealt with. At the end, your performance will be assessed and feedback on your decisions will be given.
SimAULA is a challenging game offering endless possibilities for development through constant practice and reflection. SimAULA will help you 'learn by doing' and understand the factors that can affect positively or negatively the performance of your students improving your teaching effectiveness. Within the safe environment of SimAULA you can play, experiment and re-play but without worrying about the possible consequences of your mistakes to the academic performance and personal development of your students. The goal of SimAULA is to enhance through training your classroom management and behavior skills and learn to understand the needs of your students in order to adjust your lesson to their learning needs.
SimAULA: Promoting Inquiry-based Learning
SimAULA promotes inquiry-based teaching enhancing teachers’ skills in the design of inquiry-based lesson plans. The inquiry model that constitutes the heart of SimAULA is described as a cyclical path of the inquiry process where inquiry starts with asking questions and ends with reflection. Each step in the process leads to the next, generating new questions, constituting evidence, analyzing evidence, formulating explanations, connecting explanations, communicating findings and reflecting on the process (see figure 1).
Figure 1: The SimAULA 7-step Inquiry Model
- To understand how an inquiry question is being posed to students and how to guide the students in forming their own questions.
- To understand how a hypothesis is being posed to students and how to guide the students in formulating hypothesis.
- To understand how to provide students with tools/techniques for designing a scientific investigation.
To understand how to guide students on selecting by themselves the correct tools/resources/techniques for analysing data and formulate explanations from the data analysis.
Please find here the Google Play links to install the game to an Android device. Most of the Android OS versions work but it would be preferable for the game to be installed on a Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread) or later.
Lameras, P., Petridis, P., Torrens, K., et al. (2014). Training science teachers to design inquiry-based lesson plans through a serious game. ELML 2014, The Sixth International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-line Learning, Barcelona, Spain- March 23-27, 2014.