One of the key elements of a quality student experience in higher education, outlined in the 2008 Bradley Report on the review of Australian higher education, is access to well-designed and engaging courses that lead to good vocational outcomes. 1 The Virtualopolis project concerns the development of a virtual city or platform which can encompass a community or vocational context for learning resources, linking these to engaging course delivery across disciplines and faculties. It is a virtual community with great potential to scaffold the imaginative immersion of the modem net generation learner. It was designed to incorporate virtual scenarios which were already in use, such as the country town of Bilby and the Pacific-style island of Newlandia, and has expanded to provide a virtual city of Virtualopolis across faculties and disciplines. One of the key strengths of this form of virtual environment is its capacity to focus on graduate attributes across disciplines. Virtualopolis provides access and a virtual city context to an interactive teamwork scenario, to develop attributes related to working with others, interrelating virtual business entities across all faculties. The teamwork scenario has multiple applications, with capacity to be a hurdle requirement, assessment item or training activity depending on the needs of the faculty's Work-integrated Leaming (WIL) policy. By developing the online virtual framework or platform of Virtualopolis, work-integrated team assessment can be used as skills preparation for experiential learning units such as internships, professional experience and workplace-based projects university-wide. It also provides the opportunity to repeatedly reuse the virtual city context for resources to support other courses. The Virtualopolis city and its interactive team scenario will be transferable for future cross-faculty and interdisciplinary virtual developments. Plans are already made for content areas as diverse as community health, nursing, creative arts, international relations and management.
Field of Research
130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy 190402 Creative Writing (incl Playwriting)
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