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Role plays and simulations function as learning tools for teams and groups or individuals as they "play" online or face to face. They alter the power ratios in teaching and learning relationships between students and educators, as students learn through their explorations and the viewpoints of the character or personality they are articulating in the environment. This student-centered space can enable learner-oriented assessment, where the design of the task is created for active student learning. Students are actively involved in both self and peer assessment and obtain sustainable formative feedback.
Whilst digital technology is a central feature of university life, the role that it plays is contested. For some commentators, digital technology has the potential to contribute to solving the long-term ‘cost-crisis’ faced by universities in providing teaching courses. For others, digital technologies are transforming the everyday life of consumers, academics and students, and are ushering in new sets of relations based on sharing, collaboration and creativity. Still others express concern about the ways in which innovations that have their origins in commercial environments, are set to undermine the slower, more deliberative processes of learning in universities.
In conclusion, the environment plays a critical role in learning. Through social aspects, it influences an individual’s character type among other things such as the development of language and social skills. Manipulation of the environment as in the case of the Montessori schools and school improvement programs produces different results. This should be considered when decisions concerning learning are to be made and especially with a bid to determine the most effective environment an individual should have in order to learn at optimum levels.
The instructors and syllabus also exert a large influence in formal learning as the y form part of the infrastructure and therefore the environment. It is often claimed that low quality instruction and guidance results in poor performance of students. Poorly motivated teachers with a heavy work burden and little materials face unique challenges. This impacts on the students as the skewed teacher to student ratio is skewed to their disadvantage. The Montessori system in another shift from the norm handles instruction differently (The International Montessori, 2009). The teachers role is to modulate learning by ensuring that the student learns how ignore distractions and focus on learning. The students are allowed to mix therefore older children and learn from them
As Figure 2 demonstrates, adaptive learning in role plays includes modelling and input from students that can alter the learning outcomes. These disciplines can utilise this type of active and adaptive learning and can film it for evaluation (including peer- and self-evaluation). Actors can be used to perform the role of a patient or client, so that students' communication and clinical decision-making skills can be explored. Actors are usually trained in the details of a case, in the array of issues and behaviours a patient or client is likely to present to the health professional, and to replicate the performance from student to student to ensure standardisation of assessment . Studies have shown the level of standardisation achieved is usually very high.
Widespread evidence suggests that educators and students experience satisfaction with assessment-as-learning through role play, games and simulation (Russell & Shepherd, 2010). Simulated learning environments (SLEs) provide a safe, supportive environment where students can develop their clinical skills, competency and agency.
Role plays and simulations significantly contribute to students' learning and assessment when they allow students to view multiple perspectives on their responses in a safe but challenging environment.
Children have a unique and direct experiential way of knowing the natural world. This affinity with nature is judged not by its aesthetics but rather by the nature of their interaction with it (White and Stoecklin 1998). Environmental learning happens through direct (observations, sensory stimulation, movement in the space) and indirect (education, interpersonal communication, popular media) experiences of nature. When children lived on farms or had access to neighborhood green spaces or natural backyards, these experiences could occur outside school. However, with the limiting of children's environmental experiences, schools and schoolgrounds are increasingly one of the few sites where this can happen.
A long-term solution to the problem of children's reduced access to nature in cities would involve making streets and neighborhoods safer for children, and allowing children to use more of their city as a play space (Tranter and Doyle 1996). There is a danger that restricting children's play to playgrounds and schoolgrounds may lead to childhood ghettoization (Matthews 1995, 223) , wherein children are excluded from all but certain parts of cities. However, given the difficulty of making whole cities more child-friendly (at least in the near future), it is appropriate to focus attention on enhancing children's use of their schoolgrounds as a significant site for natural learning. This study suggests there is considerable potential to expand children's environmental learning opportunities in schoolgrounds, but that in many Australian schools, due to the lack of rich and engaging school environments, children may be missing out on valuable and enjoyable play experiences. Matthews reminds us that within cities, most large-scale environments are designed to reflect only adult values and usages (1995, 456). This study suggests that many schoolgrounds (and policies on their use) are also molded more by adult values and needs, rather than those of children. In much the same way, many new commercial playgrounds provide primarily for the needs of adults to have a break from children, rather than to stimulate children themselves (McKendrick, Bradford and Fielder 2000).
Teaching science and environmental education provides unique opportunities for children and teachers to investigate the natural world. Our findings support other studies (see Lisowski and Disinger 1987; Titman 1994) showing that schoolgrounds can be important sites for field-based investigations and that these investigations can promote cognitive learning and other worthy outcomes. Our findings also support the notion that schools do not have to be restricted in providing rich and varied natural experiences for their students because of space limitations. A place for flower boxes, a small vegetable garden, a tree, or a patch of grass can be experienced all year and are important for providing access to nature regardless of the size of the schoolgrounds. No matter where the school is located, its size, site, history, or financial resources, schoolgrounds are rich in potential opportunities to create meaningful learning places. After his study of 850 primary age children in 21 schools in South England, Harvey (1989, 10) noted that there was evidence of higher general as well as specific botanical knowledge among students from schoolgrounds characterized by more vegetation and more complex landscape features.
Schoolgrounds that look from the outside to be well-maintained, with hard edges and well-kept spaces given over to pre-determined activities by children with particular characteristics (e.g., age), with a controlled and undifferentiated environment for easy surveillance, reflect a traditional view of playgrounds and the learner- the passive learner. If we view the child as a passive empty vessel waiting for organized and planned educational input, then the type and style of schoolground we create has these particular characteristics. But, if one imagines a schoolground that appears to be disordered, unkempt, and with soft or even no edges between activity spaces, it could be seen as a space with no obvious place for learning. This schoolground would on the surface seem to be antipathetic to learning and education. However, if we switch to another model of the child- the child as the stimulus-seeking learner- then the school landscape takes on different attributes. This disordered imaginary schoolground would now seem to be an ideal place for learning, encouraging children to seek out the stimulation they need for learning. This is the creative/comprehensive playground type.