Offering a scholarship for a PhD “Gamified skills-training environment”

We are delighted to announce that we are offering a PhD scholarship in the School of Information Systems at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. This scholarship is for a student working on the topic “research on a gamified skills-training environment using Design Science Research.”

The PhD scholarship supports a learning and teaching grant:

This project develops and trials immersive virtual environments as an innovative and authentic approach to teaching and learning for practical skill acquisition, with integrated assessment and feedback. Educational and assessment tools allow students to demonstrate that they have successfully applied theoretical knowledge in real contexts and achieved appropriate skills before entering workforces. Greater authenticity allows students to experience multiple roles and business cases. The project addresses the largely ‘inauthentic’ pedagogical approaches currently used in classrooms and distance-learning environments. It proposes a methodology utilising existing technologies in creative and innovative ways. The simulation combines emerging technologies to project multiple business dimensions into one space; enabling students from different disciplines to observe, engage, interact, and participate in self-guided or group-based learning scenarios; receiving instant, multi-perspective, rich feedback to support their learning; enabling iterative scenario-based training in a safe environment. Experiments and evaluations are executed on supply chain scenarios where, in reality, business dimensions like space or time impose difficulties in understanding impacts of decisions.

The focus of the PhD is the application of authentic immersive virtual environments in Higher Education. The Design Science Research method will be used to establish whether a gamified skills-training environment is an effective method to increase engagement in both routine training (e.g., regular health and safety training) and experiential/active learning (e.g., university-based education or situation-specific training such as evaluation of a new system or new facility layout). The PhD incorporates one or more of the following topics: 3D environments, authentic learning in 3D spaces, implementing scenario models, software engineering, methodology, conceptual development of the visualisation/human computer interaction, complex systems, and interaction between components. However, these suggested areas are examples rather than an exhaustive list and the scholarship recipient will be encouraged to explore these areas for her or his interest for a focal research.

The candidate is expected to have some experiences and interests in the following (or equivalent) areas

  • Completed Master (or equivalent degree) to enrol in a PhD program.
  • Good written and spoken English.
  • Extensive programming experience in OOP and scripting languages.
  • Experience and/or interest in virtual environments, virtual worlds, games; e.g., developments in environments like Second Life, OpenSim, and Unity.
  • Willingness to conduct experiments with focus groups to test the artefacts.
  • Ability and willingness to engage in joint research projects and team activities.
  • Ability to communicate with academic and professional audiences; e.g., with industry partners in the project.
  • Willingness to publish the research outcomes in high-ranked journals and conferences.
  • Interest in computer games.

The PhD is sponsored; that is the tuition is covered and the student will receive for 2.5 years (option to extend) approx AUD 27,000 pa.

The PhD student will be supervised by Dr Torsten Reiners ( and Dr Lincoln C. Wood (, and Christian Gütl ( Please contact either of them for further information.

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