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Using simulation to supplement students’ lived experience

Page history last edited by Norman Jackson 13 years, 1 month ago



The Edge of Reality: Challenges facing educators using simulation to supplement students’ lived experience 


Edward Errington

James Cook University Queensland, Australia 


Chapter C5 pdf 


Employing simulation to help students acquire a specific skill or get closer to a particular issue or problem in order to understand applications to the real world is hardly new. The Ancient Greeks employed descriptive scenarios to convey their social, ethical and moral positioning in society.  Today simulation-based learning is used to supplement students’ work-based experiences and to integrate traditional knowledge with experience gained in the actual professional setting. Simulation has gained particular recent momentum in the health/medical area as a way to bridge the gap between theory and clinical practice.  Simulation is gaining ground as a medium to deliver a whole range of core skills to aspiring graduates.


Despite a growing popularity, there is an apparent absence of discussion in the literature of the respective roles and prerequisite knowledge of the human agents involved in any simulation-based learning process. The result is an ‘objectified’ perception of simulation: ‘simply light the blue touch paper and the learning outcomes will be achieved’. What we do know is that educator(s) and students will together determine the success or otherwise of simulation-based learning.


This chapter aims to reposition educators and students back into the centre of the simulation learning process. Their involvement as unique individuals will generate sets of challenges likely to influence simulation success, namely: learner-focussed, educator-focussed, situation-focussed, and curriculum focussed challenges respectively. The chapter ends with a summary of the ways educators might deal with inherent challenges confronting the use of simulation in healthcare settings.




Editor's note

One of the purposes of the e-book is to stimulate discussion and encourage further sharing of ideas and resources. In response to circulation of Ed Errington's chapter,  Jeremy Hall kindly sent me links to these resources which include a free downloadable book on business simulations. My sincere  thanks to Jeremy for this significant and generous  contribution.

Norman Jackson


Email from Jeremy

I agree whole heartedly with the need to take into account the "human agents" and have written several papers addressing the topic

 http://www.simulations.co.uk/DESIGN09.HTM#reference4 (Published in the SAGSET Yearbook)
http://www.simulations.co.uk/DESIGN09.HTM#reference8 (Published in the SAGSET Yearbook)

 My latest book on business simulation design has several sections discussing the issue. Chapter 4 covers design for process and Chapter 10 more details of the practicalities of tutoring. Finally at the end of Chapter 8 there is a section on fidelity and validity.


The book is available as a free download from http://www.simulations.co.uk/Corporate%20Cartooning.htm

Several webpages address some of these issues.


The Role of the Tutor - http://www.simulations.co.uk/tutor.htm
The Role of the Learners - http://www.simulations.co.uk/team.htm
The Tutor's skills, knowledge & experience  http://www.simulations.co.uk/mangrid.htm
Finally, http://www.simulations.co.uk/DESIGN01.HTM explores positioning a simulation in three dimensional space - realism, learning and engagement.

Jeremy J. S. B. Hall,
Churchill Fellow, FRSA
Winner World of Learning "Outstanding Contribution to the Training Industry"
Hall Marketing
1976-2011: 35 Simulating Years
Studio 11, Colman's Wharf,
45 Morris Road, London, E14 6PA, UK
Blog: www.wisdom4trainers.com














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