Developing Knowledge for Real World Problem Scenarios using 3D Gaming Technology within a Problem-Based Learning Framework

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Simulation Industry Association of Australia


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications




Garrett, M. J., & McMahon, M. T. (2009). Developing knowledge for real world problem scenarios using 3D gaming technology within a problem-based learning framework. Proceedings of Simtect 2009. (pp. 1-6). Lindfield, Australia. Simulation Industry Association of Australia. Available here.


Problem-based learning is an instructional strategy that emphasizes the accumulation and development of knowledge via an active and experiential based approach to solving problems. This pedagogical framework can be instantiated using First Person Shooter gaming technology to provide users with the ability to control their learning experience within a dynamic, responsive, and visually rich three-dimensional virtual environment. In this manner, real world problem-solving scenarios can be represented within a computer simulated environment for training purposes, with a view towards developing knowledge and skills that are applicable to the real world problem-solving scenarios being modelled. This type of training environment can be utilized effectively when training within the corresponding real world space may not be safe, practical, or economically feasible. To this end, a conceptual framework has been developed in order to inform the design of 3D simulation environments based on FPS gaming technology within a problem-based learning pedagogy. This framework identifies a series of design factors relative to the user, the problem-solving task, and the 3D simulation environment that are proposed as being necessary in order to guide the learning process and facilitate the transfer of knowledge. This paper will present a simulation environment design according to this conceptual framework for a problem-solving scenario within the context of an underground mine emergency evacuation. This problem-solving scenario will be modelled with reference to Dominion Mining's Challenger mining operation located in South Australia.

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