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.
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.
I personally found this paper very difficult to read and understand the message that the authors wished to convey. Although I agree that it is important that research into simulation-based education has to be widened in its purpose, I am still unsure whether this paper actually addressed those issues. I feel that we should recognise the complementary effects of different modes of teaching and learning and like a Venn diagram they have their unique attributes and their shared ones. If we believe in the three learning domains and the hierarchical levels in each, then our teaching and learning methods are used to match those.
It is unfortunate that the authors make some rather sweeping and I believe wrong statements about PBL, which is surely about decision making and in the clinical use of PBL, its about clinical decision making. I do think that these statements detract from what tries to convey an important message.
Thank you for your comments, Dr. Gibbs. However, I would like to highlight the purpose of the paper, "Each instructional approach emphasizes different aspects of learning and can be applied to different learning objectives... Medical teachers should avoid making facile comparisons among the different approaches." These teaching approaches might share certain attributes, however, it was never the purpose of this article to explain how these approaches are related to each other. My point is that comparing these different approaches is like comparing an orange with an apple. Can you please clarify your statements, "If we believe in the three learning domains and the hierarchical levels in each, then our teaching and learning methods are used
to match those."
Can you also please explain "wrong statements about PBL, which is surely about decision making and in the clinical use of PBL, its about clinical decision making"? Can you please suggest references on your comments?
Hi and thank you for your comments, its great that we can chat about these
I am sorry that I found your paper hard to read, that does not however detract from the message that you are trying to give, probably as much my interpretation as much as anything else.
I was trying to say that in our teaching and learning methods, we need to match the methodology with the objectives. If we believe in the three learning domains, cognition, psychomotor and the affective domain, we need to encourage learning in these. I wanted to also say that in each of these domains there is an hierarchical level of learning- hence senior students should not be operating at the recall level in cognition but be at , at least the application and analysis level.
I feel that throughout the effective writing of appropriate scenarios in PBL we can get students thinking at these higher levels. A good reference for this is the AMEE Guide on PBL by Taylor and Miflin