Narrative, machinima and cognitive realism: Constructing an authentic real-world learning experience for law students

Anne Francis Matthew, Desmond Butler


In Australian law schools didactic pedagogies such as lectures devoted to the transmission of theory and knowledge to a largely passive audience still predominate. However, curriculum design embedding authentic learning pedagogies has been shown to be supportive of student learning. The challenge in adopting such curriculum design is how to offer situated cognitive learning opportunities on a large scale to increasingly diverse cohorts. This paper is a case study of a blended learning approach introduced into a second year undergraduate law unit to teach negotiation theory and practice to a large cohort of students studying in full-time, part-time, and distance external modes. This innovation was situated in an authentic simulated learning environment created through careful design of a high-fidelity scenario, utilising a narrative depicted by Second Life machinima video and simulated documentation. This approach resulted in greater student engagement and improved learning outcomes.


simulations; virtual worlds; cognitive realism; Second Life; machinima; pedagogy; blended learning

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