The #HEAchat which took on 31 May 8pm GMT discussed simulated learning with the Simulation Team at the University of Salford @SUSimulation the blog below was prepared the chat as a stimulus.
As academics, we are on the constant search for learning opportunities linked to “real life”- a pedagogic silver bullet that closes the gap between theory and practice (whatever that practice might be). Last time on the #HEAchat we discussed practice learning and our comments emphasised importance of the authenticity of experience this offered our learners (storify here). Also apparent in our discussion was the challenge of creating and sustaining practice opportunities alongside the often necessary need to provide learners with a risk-free space to learn and test out their ideas. So to this month’s chat brings simulated learning into the picture.
By simulated learning we are referring to learning opportunities which mimic reality (system or environment) with the purpose of supporting learners to explore, experience and apply their knowledge. The experience of the simulated “event” is frequently linked to learning how to behave, skills development and applying concepts and theories to the real world. Simulation has been used across the disciplines, think a Dragon’s Den in business; finance games; court room scenarios, emergency events in public sectors to name a few. Even role play and micro-teaching in the development of lecturers! The format is equally diverse from high fidelity simulation suites to a more Blue Peter approach with academic teams seeking out props to enhance the realism. Indeed some simulations depend on a visceral experience whereas others are more akin to a table-top exercise. So what’s your experience of providing or engaging with simulated learning? How does simulation feature in your discipline? We would love to hear your tips for making simulation a worthy learning experience. Join the conversation on 31st May 8pmGMT and follow #HEAchat #LTHEchat.
To pique your interest the Simulation team at the University of Salford (@SUSimulation) have provided a case study detailing their work within the School of Health Sciences. @SUSimulation will be joining the chat too.
A case study from Salford- Hand-in-hand: Equipping health care students to work together through interprofessional simulation
When students use words like ‘valuable, helpful, stimulating, interesting, challenging, beneficial, informative and excellent’ in their written evaluations about a day they have participated in, there is definitely a feeling that the student experience has been enhanced. We believe that providing an opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in an interprofessional simulation day is not only beneficial to their learning but essential to developing tomorrow’s interprofessional practitioners.
The inspiration for the day came from discussion at one of our interprofessional simulation team meetings. Simulation in healthcare (particularly nursing and medicine) is not a new concept yet it is an emerging teaching and learning strategy within the other fields of practice. With over 40 members from more than 10 professions it was decided that we should run an interprofessional simulation day for our Level 6 undergraduate students. However, we recognised that to organise such a day would not be without it’s challenges.
To overcome some of these challenges, we ran a pilot in July 2016 with nursing and physiotherapy students. The evaluations from the students were incredibly positive and as a team we agreed that we should run this again, only this time try to engage a wider range of health and social care undergraduates. As a result, students from nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, radiography, learning disability and social work disciplines were invited to participate. On the day 9 occupational therapy, 14 midwifery, 3 learning disability/social work, 5 nursing and 6 physiotherapy students attended which was excellent progress since the pilot.
The scenarios were led by academics from the 6 different disciplines but we all worked in partnership to ensure that the interprofessional care was reflected in all the scenarios. The scenarios made use of our state-of-the art simulation centre, one bedroom flat and also the local train station!
This day was optional for the students and was aimed at Level 6 UG. It was envisaged that this would help consolidate the knowledge and skills that they already had in relation to interprofessional working and also help them develop skills which they will need once qualified, which for most would be in the next 6 months. The learning outcomes were based around the following 6 scenarios:
- Bedside monitoring in intensive care
- Working with parents with Learning Disabilities
- Neonate with impaired neurological statu
- Identification & management of a woman presenting with perinatal mental health
- Altered level of consciousness in an adult
- Meaningful engagement
Following the event, the students were asked to complete written evaluations of the day and also were also encouraged invited to share their thoughts about the day in a ‘video diary room’ (where they could also have a cuppa and a biscuit!).
Running a day like this is not without its challenges – as it was optional many of the students cancelled their places just a few days before which was disappointing. However, the significant learning gain is evident from the students that attended. As a team, we have talked about making this mandatory and building it into curricula. However, this would mean facilitating it for over 600 students! So, is it worth all the blood, sweat and tears if we are enabling true interprofessional working?