Virtual Simulation Sessions: Implementation, Feasibility, Ease of Use, and Personal Preference (1090-004294) (Research Abstract Oral: Simulation Methodology)
Start time: Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 8:00 AM End time: Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 9:00 AM Session Type: Research Abstracts (Completed Studies)
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided simulation centers an opportunity to expand their virtual simulation-based education. Implementing this education method may allow educators a new approach to meet learners’ needs and provide learners access to sessions on any device. While virtual simulation studies have reported issues with connectivity, videoconference quality, and sound distortion (1), technology is improving. Our objective was to evaluate the implementation of virtual simulation sessions and the personal preference of learners, Simulation Operation Specialists (SOSs), and educators between non-virtual and virtual sessions. Evaluating implementation involves intentional examination of resources (i.e., people, equipment, and location) (2). We hypothesize that while virtual education sessions will be feasible and easily deployed, the preference between non-virtual and virtual sessions will vary in that SOSs and educators will prefer in-person while learners will prefer virtual.
Educators and SOSs completed an Implementation survey (Table 1) using a 4-point Likert Scale at the following times relative to the first simulation session: 1) the day prior, 2) the day after, and 3) three weeks after. To obtain simulation preference (virtual vs non-virtual), learners, educators and SOSs completed a survey following 4 styles of virtual simulation, each designed using a combination of LearningSpace and Zoom: 1) hybrid: some learners are in-person and others on Zoom, 2) observer: all learners are on Zoom and full debrief follows a video-recorded scenario, 3) vignette: all learners are on Zoom and with a flipped debrief model, specific teaching points are covered before and after watching short video-recorded vignettes, 4) demo: all learners are on Zoom and an instructional discussion follows a live procedural demonstration. There were 2-4 sessions per style and 12 or fewer learners per session.
Implementation survey results (Table 1) were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney Rank test but showed no significance between the opinions of the educators and the SOSs at the 3 time points. In addition, the results displayed a general feeling of preparedness for deploying virtual simulation sessions. Overall, educators and SOSs overwhelmingly preferred non-virtual sessions (84%) whereas the learners were equally split (virtual 40%; non-virtual 43%). The Fisher’s Exact test was used to further analyze learner preference and showed that those who participated in the hybrid and demo styles of simulation significantly (p<0.05) preferred non-virtual compared to those who participated in the observer and vignette styles. (Fig. 1). More than 85% of learners as well as all educators and SOSs had participated in non-virtual simulation prior to this study.
As predicted in our hypothesis, educators and SOSs felt that deploying virtual simulation was not only feasible but was easily attainable. With the use of Zoom and LearningSpace, the teammates felt well equipped to provide virtual simulation to our learners. On the contrary, our hypothesis was not entirely correct for the simulation preference. As predicted, educators and SOSs overwhelmingly preferred non-virtual to virtual. However, learners who participated in the hybrid and demo styles of simulation significantly preferred non-virtual, unlike those who participated in the observer and vignette styles. More data is required to see if this trend continues during future virtual sessions and help determine potential explanations for these findings. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, moving forward will require learners to participate in many virtual educational sessions. Therefore, it will be critical to ensure learners become more comfortable with virtual sessions.