Exploring Students’ Perceptions on Acquisition of Transversal Skills During an Online Social Simulation [PDF]

Agnese Dāvidsone1, Külliki Seppel2, Austė Telyčėnaitė3, Renata Matkevičienė3, Marko Uibu2, Vineta Silkāne1, Anžela Jurāne-Brēmane1, Õnne Allaje2
 Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, Latvia
2 University of Tartu, Estonia
3 Vilnius University, Lithuania

Abstract: Due to the demands of the current job market, universities need to adapt their teaching approaches to provide students with opportunities to advance their transversal skills in order to succeed with their careers. Social simulations have been considered previously as a fruitful study method that helps to advance transversal skills; however, the research in this field is scarce. This study aims to explore the perceived affordances and limitations of social simulation as an online learning method for acquisition of transversal skills of graduate and undergraduate students from communication and media study programs. The empirical part draws on a set of qualitative data. All together 32 students in two universities participated in the testing of an original simulation scenario that was created in an Erasmus+ Strategic partnership project. The results indicate that students in both simulation exercises mostly applied their negotiation, strategic thinking and planning skills. During the second simulation, self-evaluation forms filled before and after the event helped the students to realize which transversal skills they need and want to develop further. Our results demonstrate that students felt pressured to intensively collaborate and coordinate with their group members, other groups and the teachers as during both testing sessions technical disruptions were experienced. We conclude that an online social simulation is a productive interactive learning and teaching method that helps to sensitize students towards their transversal skills and stimulate self-reflection. We also argue that in exercising a social simulation online there is an additional layer of pedagogical implications: the choice of the digital platform and the potential technical disruptions such as the loss of Internet connection or sudden malfunction of some of the platform’s features may divert the flow of the simulation.
Keywords: interactive learning, online learning environments, social simulations, transversal skills, 21st century skills.


In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3