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CPD Tip of the Month Archive

Written for CPD providers by CPD providers, the CPD Provider Tip of the Month will be featured in our Tools and Resources website.

August 2020 – Strategies for delivering simulation activities (scenario-based) on virtual platforms

Brought to you by McMaster University Centre for Simulation-Based Learning

Most simulation cases, whether they are manikin or standardized patient (SP)-based, can be delivered virtually but may require modifications.

  • Keep your character demographics broad for easier SP recruitment when it comes to virtual simulation.
  • Always conduct a dry run before delivering any simulation activity virtually. Dry run with your own team first to sort out all technical glitches and test out process. Then dry run with the instructor(s) to see if you need to adjust the scenario flow for the virtual platform.
  • Have a designated host (Simulation Coordinator) managing your virtual session, so instructor, participants, sim technician, confederates and SP can focus on their tasks. Designate an alternative host should technical difficulties arise with the original host.
  • Maintain a Safe Virtual Simulation Environment. The usual Learner Conduct Agreement (e.g. confidentiality etc.) in simulation environment still applies in a virtual setting. Modify your Learner Contract for virtual platforms and communicate to learners before they engage in a virtual simulation activity.
  • We generally discourage recording of online virtual simulation sessions. But when recording is necessary for achieving the session’s learning objectives; have all participants (including SP and confederates) agree to a video recording consent form beforehand.
  • Mitigate risks associated with online video conferencing platforms by implementing a registration process, enabling wait rooms and only allowing the host to share screens.
  • It takes longer to conduct a simulation on a virtual platform. Only one person can talk at a time and actions happen in sequence not simultaneously as in-person simulation. Make sure you schedule appropriate length of time, so learners don’t feel rushed during a virtual simulation.
  • Set aside some virtual orientation time before your simulation begins. Introduce the virtual environment to your learners. If SPs are involved, spend some time with them as well, going through the expectations and logistics.
  • If you have several learners observing a simulation, ask them to turn their camera off during the simulation to keep the focus on the active participants.
  • Debrief in a Breakout Room to avoid the distraction of setup and takedown in the sim setting. Encourage everyone to turn on their cameras to facilitate group discussion.

  • McMaster University Centre for Simulation-Based Learning

July 2020

Strategies to increase learners engagement in online CPD activities

Brought to you by the Canadian Association of Pathologists and the Canadian Association of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

  • FOCUS on 2-3 of synchronous (annotation tools, online meetings, breakout rooms, whiteboards, self-directed study groups, flipped classroom, raise hand) or asynchronous (twitter, Facebook, TikTok, discussion boards (slack), sending a letter...) interactive features. Encourage frequent interactivity. Ask learners to recall information while maintaining a collegial environment.
  • Expect that glitches WILL happen - have a low tech back up plan, and PRACTICE with others. (bandwidth, connectivity, ever changing software, user comfort and hardware, etc.). Co-facilitate, use 2 computers so see what the participant sees.
  • Be EXPLICIT about NETIQUETTE (the correct or acceptable way of communicating on the Internet) and get commitment. When speaking, esp. if no video, be sure to start with "Heather here...", ALWAYS use headphones (sound quality, echo, glitches), always indicate if you've stepped away (chat or participant pod/coffee cup), prepare to learn together (avoid the urge to click/draw/ or play whack-a-mole unless we all are)
  • REVIEW the speaker slides in advance; not too wordy, contain photos/videos; match the amount of allotted time (100 slides will not fit into a 30 minute presentation!). ALWAYS have a designated Host to manage the Chat and Q&A for the Speaker. MODERATE effectively to ensure that the speaker(s) have sufficient time for Q&A. Hold Q&A to the end to avoid interrupting the flow – this could throw off the speaker and risk going over. Most IMPORTANTLY - end on time.

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Telephone: 613-730-2587; toll-free 1-800-668-3740, ext. 587
Email: cpd-accreditation@royalcollege.ca