Author: Dong C Publication Year: 2014
Summary: Many studies compare simulation to other instructional approaches. However, each approach emphasizes different aspects of learning and can be applied to different objectives. Medical teachers should avoid making facile comparisons and research should move beyond comparative studies.
Description: Many studies compare simulation to other instructional approaches in health profession education journals. However, each approach emphasizes different aspects of learning and can be applied to different learning objectives. Herein, we outline each approach's distinct characteristics and use an example from the literature in which simulation-based learning was compared to problem-based learning and standardized patient to dramatize the limitations in applying and comparing simulation-based learning with other approaches. When employing each instructional approach, medical teachers must determine what kind of learning is sought in what contexts, deliberate about what strategies may be most appropriate for those goals, and consider available personnel and equipment. Because those answers will differ, medical teachers should avoid making facile comparisons among the different approaches and make sure to use rigorous methods in applying each. Simulation-based learning has proven effects and differs from other instructional methods. Research about simulation-based learning should move beyond comparative studies.
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