A national training program for simulation educators and technicians: evaluation strategy and outcomes

Nestel, Debra, Bearman, Margaret, Brooks, Peter, Campher, Dylan, Freeman, Kirsty, Greenhill, Jennene, Jolly, Brian, Rogers, Leanne, Rudd, Cobie, Sprick, Cyle, Sutton, Beverley, Harlim, Jennifer and Watson, Marcus (2016) A national training program for simulation educators and technicians: evaluation strategy and outcomes. BMC Medical Education, 16 1: 1-13. doi:10.1186/s12909-016-0548-x

Author Nestel, Debra
Bearman, Margaret
Brooks, Peter
Campher, Dylan
Freeman, Kirsty
Greenhill, Jennene
Jolly, Brian
Rogers, Leanne
Rudd, Cobie
Sprick, Cyle
Sutton, Beverley
Harlim, Jennifer
Watson, Marcus
Title A national training program for simulation educators and technicians: evaluation strategy and outcomes
Journal name BMC Medical Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1472-6920
Publication date 2016-01-22
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s12909-016-0548-x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 16
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Simulation-based education (SBE) has seen a dramatic uptake in health professions education over the last decade. SBE offers learning opportunities that are difficult to access by other methods. Competent faculty is seen as key to high quality SBE. In 2011, in response to a significant national healthcare issue – the need to enhance the quality and scale of SBE - a group of Australian universities was commissioned to develop a national training program - Australian Simulation Educator and Technician Training (AusSETT) Program. This paper reports the evaluation of this large-scale initiative.

The AusSETT Program adopted a train-the-trainer model, which offered up to three days of workshops and between four and eight hours of e-learning. The Program was offered across all professions in all states and territories. Three hundred and three participants attended workshops with 230 also completing e-learning modules. Topics included: foundational learning theory; orientation to diverse simulation modalities; briefing; and debriefing. A layered objectives-oriented evaluation strategy was adopted with multiple stakeholders (participants, external experts), methods of data collection (end of module evaluations, workshop observer reports and individual interviews) and at multiple data points (immediate and two months later). Descriptive statistics were used to analyse numerical data while textual data (written comments and transcripts of interviews) underwent content or thematic analysis.

For each module, between 45 and 254 participants completed evaluations. The content and educational methods were rated highly with items exceeding the pre-established standard. In written evaluations, participants identified strengths (e.g. high quality facilitation, breadth and depth of content) and areas for development (e.g. electronic portfolio, learning management system) of the Program. Interviews with participants suggested the Program had positively impacted their educational practices. Observers reported a high quality educational experience for participants with alignment of content and methods with perceived participant needs.

The AusSETT Program is a significant and enduring learning resource. The development of a national training program to support a competent simulation workforce is feasible. The Program objectives were largely met. Although there are limitations with the study design (e.g. self-report), there are strengths such as exploring the impact two months later. The evaluation of the Program informs the next phase of the national strategy for simulation educators and technicians with respect to content and processes, strengths and areas for development.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Thu, 28 Jan 2016, 13:10:14 EST by Jeannette Watson on behalf of School of Civil Engineering