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Simulation-Based Learning

What is it?

Simulation-based learning is an instructional strategy that seeks to leverage experiential learning and approximate real-world conditions in a simulated environment. Whether the simulation is low or high fidelity (the realism of the simulation), this strategy has been shown to help students practice real-life, complex, skills (Chernikova et al., 2020).


                 Comparison of Low-fidelity v. high-fidelity simulations. Text reads, "Low fidelity - helps medical practitioners master individual tasks and smaller key concepts. High fidelity emphasizes realistic situations and puts more stress and pressure on practitioners"

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Examples and Implementation

  • Part-task trainers: devices that allow students to practice a specific skill and often involve utilizing a simulator that includes specific components of anatomy. For example, a phantom that allows students to practice placing an IV or managing an airway. 
  • Simulated (standardized) patients: trained actors who are used as patients instead of mannequins or phantoms. 
  • Computerized simulators (computer enhanced mannequin simulators): mannequins connected to computer systems that allow for dynamic responses and programmable effects. 
  • Virtual reality simulators: these systems allow for a recreation of physical objects in virtual space.   


Interested in more examples? Use the Google Plug-in below to find articles about simulation-based learning throughout health sciences. 

Google Scholar Search