Theory of Simulation and Gaming for Health Professional Education

Theory of Simulation and Gaming for Health Professional Education

Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 32
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4378-8.ch002
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


Simulation and game-based learning are educational strategies that are grounded in adult learning theory. Adult learners differ from young learners in many ways. Instructors must recognize these differences and tailor their instructional strategies accordingly. While there are many theories of adult learning, no single theory fully explains how and why adults learn through simulation-based methods. This chapter introduces adult learning theories that have been described in the context of simulation education and how the awareness of these concepts can be applied to simulation curriculum development, implementation, and assessment in health professional learners.
Chapter Preview


Training for health professionals, both those about to enter the field (pre-service) and those already working in the field (in-service), is increasingly including simulation-based instruction (Coburn et al., 2020; Glenn & Claman, 2020; Mossenson et al., 2020; Park et al., 2020). One of the driving reasons for the growth of simulation education has been the recognition that medical errors lead to as many as 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year (Deering et al., 2011; Harvey et al., 2013; Motycka et al., 2018; Riley et al., 2011). Clinical simulations can reduce medical errors by increasing staff comfort with both common and rare high-risk situations requiring specific skills (Bierer et al., 2018; McArdle et al., 2018; Motycka et al., 2018; Stout-Aguilar et al., 2018). Healthcare simulations can also focus on teamwork and improving the communication between team members (Fewster-Thuente & Batteson, 2016; Sweigart et al., 2016; Umoren et al., 2017).

Simulation is a place where learners and instructors can engage in conversation and interaction within the context of a simulation. The simulation scenario provides an opportunity for learners to try out brand new ideas and experiment with new concepts and approaches (Davis et al., 2017). Simulation experiences are used to emphasize the facts and theory from didactic sessions and independent study (Barry Issenberg et al., 2005). Debriefing is a process that takes place after each simulation scenario is completed, and it is led by qualified simulation facilitators. Participants in the simulation talk about their experiences with the debriefing process. A debriefing is an opportunity for reflection and a discussion of strategies to improve results and reduce the likelihood of future errors (Salik & Paige, 2020; Zhang et al., 2019). In the same way that simulation in the military improved battlefield preparedness and flight simulators in aviation have been used to reduce the number of plane crashes, simulation in healthcare has provided opportunities for health professional learners to improve their procedural skills and practice their teamwork and clinical decision-making abilities (Aebersold, 2016; Everett et al., 2017).

Adult education can be defined as the purposeful and systematic process of teaching and learning that enables a person to acquire new values, attitudes, knowledge, skills, and disciplines in order to fulfill the responsibilities of their adult roles (Merriam, 2001; Prakash et al., 2019). Adult learners have a need to know why they must learn something. It is essential for adult students to understand the relevance of the material they are studying. The education they receive must have a value or benefit for them and lead to an improvement in their lives (Knowles et al., 2005). Further, it is important for instructors to emphasize the advantages that adult learners will have once they have learned the material (Knowles et al., 2005).

Capable instructors in any field of education should have a number of characteristics, the most important of which are a strong knowledge base, experience, and the ability to teach students with patience while also giving them agency (Rashid, 2017). Each learner group is made up of individuals with distinct personalities and backgrounds, as well as a variety of individual learning styles and varied degrees of preparation for learning (Kolb & Kolb, 2005). Each participant in an educational event learns at a different speed, utilizes a different mode of learning, and comes into the event with gaps in their understanding of fundamental abilities. This indicates that teachers have a responsibility to detect and correct these knowledge gaps as they construct new information and urge students to reflect on how this knowledge applies to their clinical context and practice.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Environment: 3D computer generated objects that can be viewed on a screen or in a head-mounted display.

Simulation Debriefer: A simulation instructor who leads the learners through a reflective analysis of simulation events.

Low-Fidelity Manikin: This is typically a low cost, low technology manikin with minimal features.

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE): An approach to assessment that involves defined objectives and anticipated actions, often with an accompanying checklist for assessment.

Simulation Facilitator: A simulation instructor who guides the learners through the scenario with the goal of meeting learning objectives.

Virtual Reality: Computer generated 3D images viewed by a learner in a virtual environment using a low-cost or high-end head mounted display.

Telesimulation: Telesimulation is a process by which telecommunication and simulation resources are utilized to provide education, training, and/or assessment to learners at an off-site location.

Simulation Technician/Specialist: An individual who supports the practice of simulation through setting up and managing simulation manikins and supplies.

Augmented Reality: Computer generated holographic images can be viewed by the learner in the physical environment using a mobile device or specially designed headset.

Telefacilitation: The conduct of a telesimulation by a remote facilitator.

High-Fidelity Manikin: This term refers to a technology-enabled manikin with features such as mechanical respiration and heart rate.

Video-Assisted Debriefing: The practice of using video captured during simulation sessions for reflective discussions on learner and team performance.

Teledebriefing: Teledebriefing describes a process in which learners who are participating in a simulation scenario undergo debriefing with a facilitator located at an off-site location.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: