SIMPLE wins another award

by Paul Maharg on 29/09/2009

SIMPLE was awarded the prize for Innovation in e-Assessment at the JISC E-Assessment Scotland Conference held last week in Dundee.  The e-Assessment Competition attracted 28 entries from all over Scotland, including schools, further education colleges and universities. According to e-Assessment Scotland, the Innovation award highlights ‘an example of best practice in e-Assessment, which clearly demonstrates the full potential of the technology and its practical application.’ I was present to accept the award on behalf of the SIMPLE project team.  SIMPLE was competing against the entire field including impressive products and projects developed by medical schools, learning services units and commercial providers, and was a deserving winner in this category. The award is a tribute to the outstanding work of the whole project team.

This is the second award SIMPLE has received in the last six months, the earlier being a Leadership Award for Best Simulation Toolkit at the industry’s IMS Global Learning Consortium’s Learning Impact Awards ceremony in Barcelona.  The prizes come at a time when SIMPLE is increasingly internationalizing, as other jurisdictions begin to recognize the power of simulation pedagogies.  At least one Australian law school is currently using it, while Karen Barton and Michael Hughes recently attended the CALI Conference in Boulder, COL, to hold workshops for staff from six US law schools who are engaged in drafting simulations for their JD programmes.  And I've recently returned from presenting a half-day workshop on SIMPLE in the final Cyberdam conference at den Haag in the Netherlands (, and presenting on it in Japan last month.

Back in the UK, we're  continuing to develop staff resources and workshops.  Recently we held a two-day staff training workshop at Strathclyde, and UK institutions as far afield as Northumbria and Plymouth are showing interest in using the software.  We're also beginning to dovetail SIMPLE with other simulation approaches, eg Standardized Client (based on Standardized Patient approaches to medical education).  In addition we are working with our original SIMPLE project partner, UKCLE, to develop open educational resources (OER) for simulation resources, having won project funding from JISC and HEA for this purpose. More of that later.

The prize, a glass trophy, will be exhibited in the Law School and also at the upcoming LILAC (Learning in Law Annual Conference) event in January, which is hosted by UKCLE.  Anyone wanting a tour (SIMPLE, not the trophy), just drop me a line.

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