By Angelique Praat
In any teaching environment, students come with a range of talents and challenges, and different learning velocities. Imagine if you could give every student a head start before they reached the classroom. This is the essence of the flipped classroom or blended learning model for healthcare professionals.
Web-based skills learning system, SIMTICS, offers medical and allied health instructors greater scope to prepare their students for the reality of the clinical setting than simply asking them to read their textbooks and watch a video, and hoping they will comply. Through an integrated system of multimodal learning support, students can try procedures via online simulations before they come to class.
How does this work?
SIMTICS’ learning approach comprises four media that mutually support students’ learning habits. If you absorb more by reading through instructions first, each procedure has a written step-by-step explanation accompanied by pictures. Where observing is your preferred place to start, you can watch an expert perform a procedure in a step-by-step video demonstration, with a voiceover explaining what’s happening. You can also explore the anatomy relevant to each procedure in 3D models and 2D pictures, drilling down to view different layers. Or if you want to jump straight in and start learning by trial and error, you can perform a procedure yourself in real time with the SIMTICS simulator. And if you get stuck, you can toggle to any of the other media to help you through.
The interactive simulations are the key to the product’s positive educational impact. Simulations take the learning experience far beyond the passive reception of knowledge, allowing students to practice skills with instant feedback to guide them. They can practice as many times as they need and when they’re ready, move from Learn Mode to Test Mode to assess their competence. Learning becomes more self-directed.
When education institutions and training providers adopt SIMTICS, they’re offered not just a risk-free, supportive learning and practicing environment for their students, but an easy way to monitor learners’ progress. Dashboards showing study times and scores for each procedure help both students and their instructors visualize students’ performance and progress. Instructors can view activity reports for individual students and for their whole class, which are collated for them in the SIMTICS reporting system.
What does this mean for the classroom?
With access to the comprehensive monitoring reports, instructors can plan their lessons according to the needs of the students. From the class performance analytics, instructors can identify what the students already grasp and what they need to focus on. This means the value of face-to-face time is maximized for the instructor and for the students.
Using simulations in the flipped classroom means students arrive at class having already performed a simulated procedure several times in order to achieve the minimum score required by the instructor. This way, learning starts well before face-time in the lab. Students bring their simulation experiences with them, enabling group discussions, exercises and projects in class to be deeper and more focused.
Gaining confidence is part of any successful education program. Where students are shy, lack confidence, or have English as a second language, they can practice their skills at their own pace in their own time without stressing or feeling self-conscious in front of their peers. And that practice is guided in a standardized way by the system, based on evidence and clinical standards.
As a complement to existing teaching practice, SIMTICS maximizes the teachable classroom moments. That is a win for students, a win for instructors, and ultimately benefits the patients we strive to serve.
To learn more about e-simulations and how they can make a difference as part of your teaching and learning approach, see SIMTICS.com