Simulation has become an integral part of teaching and learning pedagogy within the Health Faculty at UON. In order to operationalise the faculty’s simulation strategy, a lead for simulation was recruited in September 2022. Roshini Khatri, Head of Health Professions, explains why:
“Simulation is used regularly in Healthcare as a learning and teaching technique to create situations or environments to allow persons/students to experience a demonstration of real-life scenarios for the purpose of practice and learning in a safe and nurturing environment. We have chosen to embed simulation as part of our curriculum to ensure that we are using contemporary and innovative activities to support the healthcare professionals of the future.”
The new Academic Lead for Simulation, Kate Ewing, is passionate about how the use of simulation and virtual reality scenarios can create more immersive, engaging, and more productive learning outcomes. Kate explains that simulation ranges from a technical skill, for example, where students might be learning to catheterise, to a more immersive scenario which is designed to give students the opportunity, in a safe and controlled environment, to experience a clinical situation.
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The challenge Kate has, is scenarios need to be written and carefully constructed with learning outcomes at the forefront. Kate admits this can create a ‘heavy workload’ for academic staff, so her aim is to see how these scenarios can be utilised across programmes so they fulfil a range of learning outcomes; allowing students to work inter-professionally with each other, rather than having a single use.
Kate is aware of the limitations of this technology when utilised by small groups or individuals at a time. However, Kate’s strategy provides a “shift in thinking” which encompasses all of the students in the learning process. In her learning situations, the students become observers of the process taking place. Kate comments: “Evidence says, if you debrief the situation and the learning in the right way, observers gain as much as the participants. The simulation is seen as an excuse for a debrief – the debrief is where the rich learning takes place”.
Kate highlights how simulations in a learning environment are very different to clinical settings. “Students aren’t just testing out their skills, as they might do in a clinical environment, rather, they are developing skills of communication and those human factors which require a more intricate debrief strategy”. Although Virtual Reality (VR) scenarios contain published debriefs, Kate feels strongly these need customising so they can be mapped closely to the learning outcomes of individual programmes at UON.
Hannah Cannon, Practice Lead for Nursing Associates, has been working with students on their clinical skills using a VR platform in a whole class situation. Hannah said that in her experience, students seem to feel “really safe” when engaging with scenarios in this way. Her students can play through a scenario safely without the need to worry about the consequences of their decisionmaking. Hannah believes by having a group of students present, it allows for a more productive and wider discussion about patient care. As a team, the students can work together to make decisions about the patient’s treatment.
Hannah emphasises how the use of a debrief, which is usually twice as long as the scenario, permits her students to have more effective discussions about the scenario and to reflect on their decision-making. Hannah feels this style of immersive learning allows her students to better grasp their learning outcomes by having the opportunities to see their decision-making play out and then by reflecting on the end result. She goes on to say that it, “heightens student’s self-awareness both professionally and personally,” which she feels is fundamental in nursing care.
Although immersive and engaging, Kate understands simulations are not an “easy answer” to fulfilling learning outcomes at UON due to their time-consuming nature. But Kate is passionate that, through her role, she will be able to help create a strategy that supports staff to not only fulfill learning outcomes in a more productive way within their own programme, but to enable collaborative scenario-based learning to be adopted across programmes in a more cohesive and versatile way.
Lecturer in Digital Education at the University of Hull
The recording of the event (49 mins) held on 23rd March, 2022 is available to view.
The slides from the session are available to download
The Padlet from the session is available for contributions.
For more information on the Detect project
In this presentation Dr Gouseti considered why supporting teachers and students with developing critical digital literacies (CDL) appears to be more timely than ever and she presented a new framework of critical digital literacies created by the DETECT Erasmus+ project. This conceptualisation of critical digital literacies builds on other relevant frameworks but it also introduces a more open-ended approach towards capturing different dimensions that can be associated with CDL practices within and outside formal educational contexts. Furthermore, some project outputs relevant for teachers’ professional development in the area of CDL were discussed during this presentation.
Anastasia Gouseti is a Lecturer in Digital Education at the University of Hull. Her research interests include the use of digital media in educational settings and the role of new technologies in promoting teaching, learning and collaboration. She is currently the Principal Investigator for the Erasmus+ DETECT project which focuses on supporting educators with developing critical digital literacies.
Staff profile: https://www.hull.ac.uk/staff-directory/anastasia-gouseti
Gouseti, A. (2021). ‘We’d never had to set up a virtual school before’: Opportunities and challenges for primary and secondary teachers during emergency remote education. Review of Education, 9(3), https://doi.org/10.1002/rev3.3305
Gouseti, A., Abbott, D., Burden, K., & Jeffrey, S. (2020). Adopting the use of a legacy digital artefact in formal educational settings: opportunities and challenges. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 29(5), 613-629. https://doi.org/10.1080/1475939X.2020.1822435
Gouseti, A. (2017). Exploring doctoral students’ use of digital technologies: what do they use them for and why?. Educational review, 69(5), 638-654 https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2017.1291492
Helen Caldwell kindly collated a list of the tools used across the Education courses with their students. This shows a wide range and diversity which are useful for students who will be working in a Schools environment in the future. The team have shown a real enthusiasm to enhance student engagement and enhance the interactivity within sessions. The range of activities reflect a growing confidence and expertise with Active Distance Learning and Active Blended Learning.
Helen notes that “…the collection of tools and strategies is a testament to the drive within the education team to make their online sessions active and engaging, and to find imaginative ways to facilitate sensemaking through digital making. “
The Education Teams who are using the tools provide localised support with their students. The range of tools covered within the Education courses included:
- Blackboard Collaborate
- Book Creator
- Adobe Spark
The use of these tools within the Education Teams are driven by pedagogical requirements and they are carefully piloted within the team in conjunction with their Learning Technologist in the first instance to ensure they are fit for purpose and do not duplicate any existing licensed product. The tools support the teams flexible approach to ensure their students are prepared for school environments and enhances their employability. Staff in other teams should review the recommendations for the use of third party tools and speak to their Learning Technologist in the first instance prior to introducing any new systems.
Through the suggestion of LearnTech Manager Rob Farmer, fellow LearnTech Liane Robinson and myself were invited/sent along to our inaugural two-day Faculty of Health, Education & Society course development workshop to experience, and hopefully contribute to, the discussion and development of the new Interprofessional Education (IPE) module which was to run for level four students in the 19/20 academic curriculum. Social Work England (SWE) state Education and Training Providers should ‘ensure that students are given the opportunity to work with, and learn from, other professions in order to support multidisciplinary working’ (SWE, 2019:11). It is therefore imperative that all Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and SWE Health and Social Care programmes demonstrate commitment, delivery and implementation of IPE. However, perceptions of IPE as an additional learning burden for both academics and students alike are problematic and, as such, IPE has to be incorporated into existing curriculums so as not to create a significant amount of extra work for those teaching and studying on professional services’ courses. Therefore, the challenge facing the development team was ‘How can we create a module that can be’:
- Embedded into existing courses
- Self-led for most of the course
- Engaging for students while instructionally effective
To fulfil this brief, we roughly followed the University of Northampton’s CAIeRO process, which is based on the Carpe Diem (Salmon, 2016) design approach; it was decided that the course would be predominantly delivered via self-directed e-tivities. E-tivities combine an online active, participatory experience for individual learners, as well as those working in groups, and facilitates learners to engage with effective pedagogically informed technologies that enhance their digital fluency. The e-tivities developed for the module would incorporate automated, embedded quizzes, to assess and consolidate IPE concepts learned through seminar discussion, and reading and media resources. When considering which educational technology we could deploy, Xerte’s functionality, which encompasses the interactive, self-directed elements of our remit, appeared the obvious choice. Two of three e-tivities would utilise Xerte technology, therefore the CAIeRO team were split into two groups (one led by Liane and one led by myself). Through a creative banging of heads together, the content and design elements for two e-tivity resources were sketched out; I was nominated to go away and, over a three-month period, create the Xerte e-tivity slides.
Although I had a working knowledge of Xerte, and had used it within my own teaching, the self-directed learning brief meant that I needed to develop slides which promoted this design. The project was interesting in that I had creative freedom to explore and exploit Xerte’s versatility and the range of interactive pages which make Xerte such an effective educational digital tool.
Thus, I was able to embed videos, create multiple choice quizzes, downloadable reflective exercises, and utilise the drag and drop functionality, while the choice of Xerte templates enhanced the presentational style of the finished article making it visually appealing, and professional. However, not all was roses in the Xerte park. The CAIeRO consensus determined that the students should not be able to continue to subsequent pages unless correct answers were given. The multiple choice quiz function did not allow for the checking of multiple answers, which if incorrect, would block the advance of the learner through the slides. Luckily, with the knowledge and expertise of Anne Misselbrook our resident LearnTech Xerte guru, and the wider Xerte community, we were able to source a script which we added to the offending interactive page to produce the desired result.
Technical conundrums aside, it was a challenge to source the relevant content for the e-tivities. Cross departmental input was required, and this took more time than expected, meaning the project overran its projected endpoint.
At the time of writing, the level four module is still running, so students’ thoughts and any learning and teaching impact is yet to be evaluated; however, practical improvements for future e-tivity projects can be discerned. Planning and design has to be more focused with concrete content developed pre-e-tivity construction, rather than ad-hoc proposals, which the e-tivity developer has to keep drafting, and re-drafting. As Phemie Wright has identified (2014), “very little research or literature is available regarding practical [learning] design advice” (p.173). As a result of the IPE project, my advice is, don’t just storyboard, have the content ready to go so that developer concentration is focused on the interactivity, and presentation of the design, ensuring the effective production of impactful learning resources.
Salmon, G. (2016) Carpe Diem – A team based approach to learning design. [Online]. Available at: https://www.gillysalmon.com/carpe-diem.html Accessed 04/10/19.
Salmon, G. (2016) E-tivities. [Online]. Available at: https://www.gillysalmon.com/e-tivities.html Accessed 14/02/20.
Usher, J. (2014) De-Mystifying the CAIeRO. [Online]. Available at: https://blogs.northampton.ac.uk/learntech/2014/12/24/demystifying-the-caiero/ Accessed on 14/02/20.
Wright, P. (2014). “E-tivities from the Front Line”: A Community of Inquiry Case Study Analysis of Educators’ Blog Posts on the Topic of Designing and Delivering Online Learning. Education Sciences, 4(2), pp. 172-192. Available at: https://search.proquest.com/docview/1554606873?accountid=12834&rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo Accessed on 04/10/19.
To view an example of the Xerte slides created for IPE, click on the following link:
 Social Work England (2019) Qualifying Education and Training Standards 2020. London: SWE.
 Rough in that, we loosely applied the 7 CAIeRO stages, but time constraints meant that ideas were never really fleshed out.
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- Blackboard Upgrade – January 2023
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