Issue 7
Monday, 07 September 2020
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Humanitarian, Emergency and Disaster Management Studies lecturer Miranda Booth helped coordinate the online unit
Humanitarian, Emergency and Disaster Management Studies lecturer Miranda Booth helped coordinate the online unit

Humanitarian students thrive in online simulations

By Carl Pfeiffer

Students engaged in humanitarian studies had the unique opportunity to participate in a series of emergency management simulations, thanks to a first-of-its-kind online unit offered by Charles Darwin University.  

The two-week Fundamentals of Humanitarian Practice unit was undertaken by around 40 students studying a Bachelor of Humanitarian Aid and Development and a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies. 

It included three online simulations where students had the opportunity to use real-world digital tools to aid in a humanitarian crisis.  

Two simulations were based in the Northern Territory and featured a trip to a remote community, while the other was centred around helping settle refuges in the Darwin area. Students learnt about field security, trip planning, inter-cultural communication and site planning.  

The final simulation saw students inherit an ongoing humanitarian crisis in an overseas country, receiving one challenge each hour and having a day to determine a path forward using situation reports, maps, humanitarian standards and forecasting any problems. 

Humanitarian, Emergency and Disaster Management Studies lecturer Miranda Booth said travel and social restrictions associated with COVID-19 prevented the on-campus delivery of the unit. 

“Within a few short weeks we redesigned the unit for online delivery, while ensuring that teaching and learning was commensurable with the stated unit learning objectives and current e-learning standards,” she said. 

“Students experienced a modern, interactive, dynamic and engaging e-learning experience.”

Ms Booth said the content in the unit was completely new and included 16 lectures, three guest lectures, three full-day simulations, three in-class activities and 10 workshops.  

“We received some exceptional feedback from students who said they really enjoyed how the unit was delivered online,” she said.

More information about the online simulations can be found at the following links: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbfvJAJ6cTA&t=5s and www.cdu.edu.au/study/humanitarian-emergency-disaster-management