Using consensus group methods to improve simulation using immersive media in paramedicine

Problem:Simulation is a cornerstone of paramedic pedagogy. It facilitates a learning-centred approach which explicitly links the learning and teaching environment to the real world and enables the student to construct new understandings of paramedic practice threshold concepts. Although the benefits of simulation in medical and health education have been well researched, there is a paucity of research into how to deliver simulation using immersive media (IM) due to its recency as a strategy in paramedicine. This study explored student feedback of simulations using IM to improve the efficacy of learning activities designed for the recently commissioned University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) immersive simulation studio.Method:Feedback was taken using a modified Nominal Group Technique (NGT) consensus method post implementation of an IM strategy. Participants were second year students of the Bachelor of Paramedic Science program at USC who had undertaken simulation using immersive media in 2015.Results:The research has revealed the value of listening to the student voice in enhancing simulation design. Two major themes arose regarding the value of IM according to students. Firstly, the students perceived that benefits were derived from the closer approximation of an authentic practice environment through the use of immersive media. Secondly, that students felt that the immersive style allowed them to practice of a broader range of technical and non-technical skills than in a conventional classroom.Conclusion:IM was perceived as a positive experience by students as they reported IM to be more engaging, increasing their confidence, situational awareness and improved their non-technical skills. The USC paramedic program will continue to develop the IM strategy as a signature pedagogy.

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