CEP 817: Simulation to supplement theory and clinical experiences

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Throughout the world of education there is a movement towards creating environments for engaged and active learning. The underlying theory is that humans learn more by doing compared to listening. The problem of practice I set out to resolve is the challenge of using simulation to supplement theory and clinical experiences.

Some form of lecture is necessary in all subjects of learning. These lectures can be delivered in many forms, but how does one manage time, resources and what information is absolutely critical for the learners to obtain? As a technology coordinator, it is my responsibility to support faculty in using technology to support the many modes of content delivery, and with this, save valuable face-to-face class time. To supplement the necessary lecture material, putting information into practice via simulation is an activity that can relate knowledge to real life experiences.

The clinical environment is a wonderful place to foster student engagement and active learning; however, the clinical setting also has drawbacks. Not only are clinical opportunities difficult to come by, it is impossible to ensure learners are having similar experiences and experiencing the situations necessary to develop a well-rounded skill-set. The simulated environment allows for a customized clinical experience, which includes safe situations for mistakes to be made that lead to memorable learning experiences.

To implement simulation into the curriculum, all stakeholders of the process must be on the same page with understanding the purpose behind the learning activities. Looking at the whole and creating a higher-level plan can foster support from the administration, faculty and students. Collaboration between these parties is critical to design a successful simulation program. There is a great amount of research related to positive outcomes using simulation and it will be important to explore the successes and failures as we consider our program goals. Our simulation lab coordinator will be my biggest ally in regards to researching the needs of our program and the success of others we wish to imitate. It will take a highly invested team to tackle this problem of practice, and I feel the Stanford design model will help guide us to create a successful simulation program that supplements theory and clinical experiences.

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