Parallel session 3: SIMPLE

by Paul Maharg on 24/01/2009

Sat in on the SIMPLE ref session, given by Karen Barton and Patricia McKellar.  Good overview of the project, its software, use, evaluation and future use.  Interesting to sit in and see the project from the audience point of view.  There’s such a lot of new angles to teaching, learning and assessment in the project that it is difficult to cover it even in a 45 minute session.  

The future of the SIMPLE project is something that was mentioned in the presentation.  SIMPLE is now an open-source project, and as is the case with many similar projects we’re developing the online community of practice here (ref), and we’re developing project partnerships abroad (more of that soon).  

Comments were interesting – one participant wondered why SIMPLE was necessary if it could be done, as she thought, by using a VLE, email and paper.  The response focused on issues of authenticity, sim management (for students as well as staff), as well as flexibility, creating scenarios with variables in them (ie one backbone narrative with variations), and the need to have all casework in one place (fundamental issue in law firm case management software), scalability – ie all the advantages of Web 2.0 sim design.  Plus a lot more functionality currently being built…

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