Perceptions of Virtual Simulations by Interprofessional Simulation Facilitators
The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a pedagogical change with many learning events now virtual or hybrid in nature. Simulation events are particularly affected due to their hands-on nature. Traditionally, an in-person Facilitator Training and IPE Event Training Design course is held at our university. This has been adapted to a virtual Facilitating Virtual Simulations Crash Course, addressing the format/objectives/expectations and strategies for facilitators of virtual IP simulations.
Sixteen virtual IP simulations have been delivered for students in 19 professions since September 2020 with 33 IP facilitators from 4 institutions participating. Facilitators were surveyed regarding opinions of facilitating virtual simulations. The majority facilitated 1-5 simulations (in-person 58%, virtual 70%). In addition to the Office of IPE training, 30% facilitators had received external education on in-person simulation facilitation compared to 6% for virtual facilitation. The majority of facilitators agreed they were: as effective a facilitator in virtual simulations (80%), as confident facilitating virtually (70%), as psychologically safe in virtual debriefings (75%), and that virtual simulations will continue to utilize these in their practice after the pandemic (100%). Most (95%) facilitators agreed students were as engaged with virtual simulations as with in-person and 80% felt virtual simulations were a good learning experience for students.
The majority (88%) of facilitators agreed the virtual crash course provided the knowledge and practice to help them effectively facilitate virtually, and 75% agreed the crash course made them appreciate and foster IP relationships in their daily work. Results are comparable to evaluation of in-person training delivered before the pandemic.
Virtual training for facilitation of virtual IP simulations is effective to gain knowledge and confidence. IP simulation facilitators note that virtual simulations are useful for learning and will continue in post-pandemic education.