ERAS: An Experiential Role-Playing Aging Simulation
AECT Emerging Learning Technologies Division, 2019 Immersive Learning Award
ERAS is a web-based interactive simulation for learners to engage in role-playing while acquiring knowledge about the aging process. Learners are asked to imagine themselves in the role of elderly individuals and to learn about various age-related issues. This is accomplished through observing the avatar’s reactions, experiencing the associated outcomes, and engaging in decision-making and reflection. This perspective-taking experience aims to increase students’ empathic attitudes toward the elderly and reduce anxiety regarding aging.
This project was completed in collaboration with a Psychology instructor (subject-matter expert), a researcher, and three instructional designers. The project was fully completed. This project was funded by an institutional grant. ERAS was initially designed with the primary intent of helping students enrolled in an Adulthood & Aging course offered by the Psychology Department at our institution.
The instructional design roles I had during this project were: project manager and instructional designer. I conducted the learner, contextual, and task analysis. In collaboration with the, Psychology instructor, I created the project timeline. As the instructional designer, I designed the simulation look, feel, and flow. As the project manager, I served as one of the main contacts for this project and was in regular communication with the subject-matter expert, researcher, and other instructional designers. I also conducted the formative evaluation and re-designed of ERAS.