Using SIMTICS’ simulations in a blended learning model gives remote and distant healthcare students accessible learning options — How our online learning modules are making healthcare education more accessible in rural and remote areas.
Traditionally, the foundation of healthcare education in the United States has been a mixture of standard classroom instruction, reading and hands-on clinical labs. But this type of model excludes students living in remote and rural areas, and limits the type of education and lifestyle these people can enjoy since it restricts their ability to travel or move away from the physical locality of the learning institution.
However with modern technology and the internet came the introduction of a blended learning model into the school curriculum, to cater to the healthcare students who previously did not have the option of accessible learning. These new models take advantage of online resources and allow students and educators to benefit from a new and interesting approach to teaching and learning.
The challenge in distance learning though, is how to learn technical clinical skills remotely.
Educational eLearning provider, SIMTICS, created and introduced online simulations that complemented schools’ current classes and teaching methods and that can be used in a blended learning model*. SIMTICS simulations integrate theory with cognitive learning of clinical skills and decision making in a safe and measured environment. While hands-on practice is still essential, students can learn the skills at a cognitive level with SIMTICS online simulations, as well as practice and test their knowledge. This means they are well-prepared before their practical lab sessions, and are therefore able get more value from their face-time with instructors. Visit www.simtics.com
Long-time SIMTICS team member, Cherry Vanderbeke, says the online simulations provide accessible learning for every student, regardless of their location or learning preference. Over time, this type of enhancement to teaching and learning methods will help to combat the healthcare shortage in America by extending education access to all. “There’s a huge demand for more health professionals in just about every country around the world, but not enough flexibility in the system to offer every person the option to learn in an effective manner,” says Cherry. “At a young age one of our founders moved across the world to a remote location in India where his father set up a cardiac clinic, so it’s part of our DNA that we understand how important it is for students and health professionals, wherever they are and in whatever economic situation, to get access to quality education.”
Modern advancements such as the introduction of SIMTICS’ online simulations have also created the space for a ‘flipped classroom’ learning environment, where the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. In this scenario, activities are undertaken by students at home before the class session, and in-class time is devoted to group exercises, projects, coaching, and discussions. This type of learning environment is typically found in modern and progressive healthcare institutions, like those that offer online simulations to their students as an integral part of their approach to teaching and learning.
“SIMTICS can really make a difference to students and educators, with the level of access it offers, and its built-in tracking and assessment. There are so many benefits to using the online simulations in a formal education setting, such as allowing the learner to work at their own pace to gain confidence and competence before labs, giving the student access to distance learning from a remote or rural location, and making space for longer classroom discussions and tutoring after the self-paced learning has been completed at home,” says Cherry. “SIMTICS can even support situations where the instructor is in a different location from the student, since the student’s activity and results are tracked and teachers are able to see how the student is progressing at any time. They can even view the errors that students make in the skills simulations.”
SIMTICS online learning modules give healthcare students accessible learning, without time or location limitations, which allows more people to study healthcare. This kind of education technology plays an important part in the overall goal to eventually combat the health workforce shortage the world over.
*Blended Learning Universe