Interactive Pre-Simulation Strategies: Engaging Students in Experiential Learning from the Start
Beverly J. D. Bye
Decrease in clinical nursing facilities created a need to develop supplemental real-life patient scenarios outside of the traditional nursing units. Over the past five years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of simulation exercises integrated into the clinical and classroom aspect of nursing education. However, many students are not engaged and are not effectively participating in the simulation. Many students state they are perplexed and do not understand the purpose and roles of simulation, and often do not take it seriously. The challenge to nurse educators is to develop realistic goals and objectives with a variety of activities that occur prior to the actual simulation experience Debriefing is one of the most important aspects of the simulation activity, but if students are not participating, then the learning is not occurring. The key with simulation is to engage students through the use of various strategies that incorporate visual, auditory, tactile, and cognitive learning prior to the simulation experience. This study investigated the use of interactive pre-simulation strategies such as concept mapping, group discussion, teaching, and body mapping prior to the simulation experience. The focus of this research was on student success and knowledge acquisition. The most important overall goal is to engage students prior to the simulation experience in a safe, nonthreatening learning environment in order to allay students’ fear of failure and ultimately increase knowledge, retention, and critical thinking. Results of the study have implications on the development and integration of innovative teaching pedagogies.