In announcing the finalists, Graham Snowden, General Manager APAC at OKTO, the sponsor for this award, said, “education providers do some of the world’s most important work, teaching the next generations and inspiring innovation for a brighter future”.
This came to the fore in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw the tertiary education sector drastically impacted but also elevated recognition of the positive impact of digital initiatives and new uses of technology to support learning.
It was therefore unsurprising to see a high calibre of entrants to the Education category of the 2021 iTnews Benchmark Awards, showcasing the best of what can be achieved by our industry.
Swinburne Online, our foundation partner, took home the win for its innovative use of virtual reality (VR) simulations, which gives online and remote learners the opportunity to develop practical skills in an immersive and risk-free environment. In 2020, our team delivered over 400 simulations to online and on campus learners in education and design disciplines and continues to do so at an ever-growing scale. We are also expanding the program to a broader range of disciplines including work-readiness applications in 2021 and ongoing.
Bringing this project to life involves a multi-discipline team, co-designed with subject matter experts, and multiple supported technologies. Our model is a scaffolded, frictionless and highly supported VR participant experience. It is rewarding to provide a highly effective experiential way of learning that simultaneously boosts confidence, preparedness and employability – ensuring workforce-ready graduates.
As one of the only operators of the Mursion VR software in the Asia Pacific region, we offer immersive training for practical and soft skill development through scenarios that are difficult and costly to replicate in non-VR settings. We are committed to the transformational potential of simulated practice.
Congratulations to our team and our Swinburne University of Technology collaborators; Nicki Wragg, Department Chair, Communication Design and Dean, Learning Innovation (Acting) and Dr. Wendy Goff, Lecturer in Education. Thanks also to iTnews and sponsors of the award, KPMG and OKTA.
You can learn more about our VR simulations in this recent article from Rhonni Sasaki, Program Director at Online Education Services, and can view the iTNews judging panel’s feedback on the project at https://www.itnews.com.au/awards/winners