The aim of any learning experience is to equip the students with the skills and knowledge to undertake the task in reality in the future. The success of a simulation in a learning situation then depends on how it is set up. And you don’t need a full simulation suite to be able to deliver meaningful and useful scenarios; many students will benefit from simply slowing down and thinking about each step in more detail (Learning Pool, 2020).
Delivering my first Resims was a great exercise for reflection, and brought to the forefront the importance of simulation preparation. I knew that the student’s experience would rely on how I set up the simulation content (Shirts, 2020). First, I thought about what I wanted the students to gain; the learning aims. So I mapped out my case study as if it would occur in reality, and worked backwards from this point to think of the questions that would need to be asked to reach the correct conclusion. Additionally, I thought about other routes that students might take to reach their conclusion, and created actions with realistic results to include. This was useful for me as a teaching lead, as it allowed me to step in to the shoes of the audience and better understand how I could facilitate their understanding. I had to consider students of all abilities, and so I chose to create two case studies with increasing complexity so that all students would feel challenged within their means.
A major consideration when preparing my Resims was how they would complement the rest of the lecture. It made sense for me to teach the theory behind the topic in a typical lecture format first, giving examples and tips on how to reach a clinical diagnosis or conclusion. The Resim then fit in really nicely as it allowed students to contextualise what I had just taught them. Additionally, I noticed that students became more engaged with the lecture content when it was mentioned that they would be having a go at doing it themselves later, as well as increasing mine (Auman, 2011).
During a natural break in the lecture, Resimion was introduced to the students and they were asked to install the app onto their personal devices for use later on in the session. At this stage, I found it useful providing the group with the Resimion logo for ease of identifying it in their app store. At the right moment during the lecture, I provided the code for the first Resim and the students got stuck in to their case studies. Throughout the simulation, I walked around the room to engage directly with the students which I found to break the usual dynamic of – lecturer stood at the front of a theatre delivering content – student sat listening to the lecturer.
When the Resim had concluded, I returned to work through the case study as a group, most of all to ensure that the students understood why their answers were correct or incorrect. I found the students were much more engaged with the discussion than earlier in the lecture. We talked about the case studies and what things were considered from the patient history and simulation results to also consider in the future.
The feedback was hugely positive. Many students commented that they enjoyed using the app as a different way to apply and reinforce knowledge. They thought the Resim was engaging and that they wanted to see it in more of the lectures. They also wanted to see more options available in the app and for tests to be more obvious, so this will be taken into account when Resims are made in the future – balancing the amount of content input for greatest benefit to learning.
Auman, C. (2011) Using Simulation Games to Increase Student and Instructor Engagement. College Teaching. 59 (4), pp. 154–161. doi:10.1080/87567555.2011.602134.
Learning Pool (2020) The five levels of software simulation for e-learning. Available from: https://learningpool.com/the-five-levels-of-software-simulation-for-e-learning/ [Accessed 9 February 2020].
Shirts, R.G. (2020) Ten Secrets of Successful Simulations. Available from: https://www.simulationtrainingsystems.com/ten-secrets-successful-simulations/ [Accessed 11 February 2020].
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