Going for simulation

This autumn, the University of Stavanger will offer an optional module called “Simulation based learning” as part of the Health Sciences master’s programme. The course is generic, and should be relevant to a much larger audience than health personnel.

Illstration simulation.

The new master course is a pedagogically oriented subject, and teaches concepts, theory and pedagogy which support the use of simulation within education, practice and research. Students will gain insight into the value of simulation in different settings across educations and professions, and learn about its possibilities and limitations, compared to other learning methods.

Interdisciplinary learning

«Simulation may provide realistic training for all kinds of work situations. The student will be able to practice real-life situations without putting anyone at risk. Health personnel is used to this form of training and learning, but this new master’s subject should be interesting to students within the humanities, political science, hotel and hospitality management, as well as science and technology», says pro-rector Dag Husebø.

«Simulation is a good way of learning, and you can practice on all kinds of work situations, from conducting a meeting to handling challenging hotel guests, he says. The methodology is helpful for child welfare workers, sociologists, pedagogues and hotel staff, among others», he adds.

Like a growing number of optional subjects at the University of Stavanger, the course is open to students across disciplines and professions. It provides students with skills and expertise to think and collaborate beyond their own professions.

Simulation learning phases

Very briefly explained, simulation is about setting up an imaginary, but realistic scenario which is then carried out by participants who preferably have roles similar to those they have in real life. After the simulation exercise follows a debriefing session, where reflection is emphasised.

Simulation is excellent for both individual and team learning, and in all phases of the learning process, from planning to debrief, the pro-rector points out.

«We also know that learning by simulation, under given conditions, may be transferred to practice.»

During the course, the students will learn to evaluate their own learning needs, and the planning, design and implementation of a simulation-based programme.

«Students will learn about the theory and craft of the method, and they may apply this knowledge to build capacity in various organisations», says course coordinator and associate professor at SHARE - Centre for Resilience in Healthcare - Sissel E. Husebø.

Looking to establish a simulation centre

The new master’s course is developed in close collaboration with SAFER simulation centre and the Stavanger University hospital (SUS). It falls naturally into the Ullandhaug Health Campus, which gathers a range of health initiatives following the relocation of the hospital to Ullandhaug in 2023.

The course is also part of the effort to strengthen the research on simulation and the simulation community.

«By offering this course on master’s level, we hope to recruit more master’s and doctor’s degree students within simulation», says Sissel E. Husebø.

A work group has evaluated simulation as an approach in education, and the university seeks to establish a simulation centre in collaboration with partners.

«A simulation centre may bring together expertise from SAFER, SUS, UiS and others», Dag Husebø says.

The master’s course is open to Norwegian and international students, and is conducted in English. The first course starts in the autumn of 2018.

Text: Karoline Reilstad
Translation: Astri Sivertsen