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Title: nDiVE: Development of an authentic training environment to support skill acquisition in logistics & supply chain management
Contributor(s): Reiners, Torsten (author); Wood, Lincoln (author); Teras, Hanna (author); Clarke, Karen (project team member); Herrington, Jan (project team member); Chang, Vanessa (project team member); Gregory, Sue  (project team member)orcid ; Gutl, Christian (project team member); Teras, Marko (project team member); Fardinpour, Ali (project team member); Coldham, George (project team member)
Publication Date: 2016
Open Access: Yes
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While the higher education community has embraced the use of virtual worlds for teaching and learning, there are many hazardous situations where these virtual environments would provide benefits by enabling users to learn without danger. Meanwhile, the teaching in many of the subjects, involving students that work in these virtual environments, frequently fails to encompass suitably authentic activities and understandings of the nature of the environments. To address this, the nDiVE project explored authentic education in logistics and supply chain management scenarios as part of an Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) two-year project grant. Unity, a game-based engine, was coupled with various immersive technologies such as the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD), to create several detailed scenarios of operational working environments. Input from industry and academic stakeholders provided guidance in the development of the scenarios, making this an ideal platform for the development of further industry-focused, authentic, and immersive learning scenarios.

Four scenarios were created to thrust the learner into a range of hazardous environments, allowing them to become familiar with the risks and challenges of operating in these environments. Different cohorts of students and young people from a range of backgrounds were tested with this range of scenarios outlining different logistics and operational environments. Students and industry stakeholders participating in the experimental scenarios created a body of in-world data that could be analysed about their experience and perceptions of the environments. The results indicate that, while there are a number of design elements that can be improved and refined, nDiVE is a promising space for education and authentic learning for people who need to work in safe environments, even if the reality is hazardous.

This report draws on research conducted by project team members from Curtin University, Murdoch University, University of Wollongong, Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand),and Graz University of Technology (Austria) over two years from 2013 to 2015. Data was collected through experiments, surveys, observations, and discussions. The research aim was to develop and trial an authentic learning environment that will enable Logistics and Supply Chain Management (L&SCM) students to be better prepared for their professional life. The study set out to provide the higher education community with guidelines and recommendations to encourage the use of currently available immersive technology and virtual environments in logistics and engineering subjects.

The nDiVE environment is open-source and available for educational purposes. The usage of emerging technology and scenarios encoded with Unity requires that educators become familiar with the components prior to embarking on using nDiVE in their teaching context. This will enable them to overcome any technical difficulties they encounter. It is recommended educators consider the extensive documentation developed as part of materials dissemination (that is, scientific publications) and contact the relevant nDiVE team member for support, for example in organising workshops to introduce the philosophy of nDiVE, and induction to the development of new environments. Educators who are not familiar with Unity and the development of 3D scenarios are still able to take advantage of the developed framework, such as the Gamification concepts, the ideas on narratives with integrated Gamification elements, and the use of the emerging technology by applying off-the-shelf applications (or the nDiVE scenarios) to enhance teaching.

This report draws from the existing body of publications. This report is further limited in its scope by the need to comply with mandated report length limitations. Therefore reference to the nDiVE publications for further detailsis recommended

Publication Type: Report
Publisher: Australian Government, Office for Learning and Teaching
Place of Publication: Sydney, Australia
ISBN: 9781760510213
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130103 Higher Education
150309 Logistics and Supply Chain Management
190202 Computer Gaming and Animation
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 350903 Logistics
360502 Computer gaming and animation
390303 Higher education
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930503 Resourcing of Education and Training Systems
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160204 Management, resources and leadership
HERDC Category Description: R1 Report
Publisher/associated links:
Extent of Pages: 91
Appears in Collections:Report
School of Education

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