PROSIM gathers researchers from three Nordic universities to study the use of simulations across three domains - health science, biomedicine and maritime education. Our aim is to develop knowledge and further understanding of the use of simulations for professional learning. In particular, our interest is to explore the relationship between simulations and the social, emotional and cognitive dimensions for practice and to develop professional identity. The project involves forums for learning across domains and discussion both within academia and with the practice fields. Thus, the ambition of PROSIM is to stimulate cross-disciplinary learning of best practices as well as a shared system of concepts.
Investigating technology-supported simulation-based training in maritime, health and biomedical laboratory science
Through innovative and interdisciplinary research, the project group investigates technology-supported simulation-based training in bachelor-level education in three professional fields: maritime, health and biomedical laboratory science. Simulation-based training is a widespread method to improve the quality of practice in a risk free and cost-effective manner across different professional fields. Despite structural similarities between fields, there are significant differences in how simulation-based training is implemented and used in practical training and assessment practices. For instance, in maritime bachelor education, simulators are used for certifying technical skills i.e. to formally qualify for international competence requirements for the industry, whereas in bachelor-level education in healthcare, simulators are used for preparations before the start of practice periods in the health services. In laboratory science, advanced simulation technologies have recently entered the educational field though highly immersive virtual reality technologies.
Pedagogical challenges when adopting new technologies
While current studies suggest that students appreciate these technological aids, there are pedagogical challenges in terms of adopting these technologies in a way that improve learning outcomes. Given the large variance in the scope and practice of simulation-based training across professional domains, as well as the critical lack of knowledge exchange between their respective research traditions, we currently have an inadequate empirical understanding of the role and significance of different simulator technologies, simulation design and the significance of social support in professional learning and assessment for different simulated environments.
A comparative scope
The comparative scope of the project is to contrast simulation-based practices in three bachelor educations and investigate how they are interpreted in theory and enacted through practice. PROSIM will develop innovative research methods that broadens the perspective and unit of analysis to naturalistic settings, drawing on situated, distributed and sociocultural theories of interaction and knowledge transmission to study professional learning as interactional accomplishments between participants and simulation- technologies in everyday simulation practice. Comparatively exploring what characterizes and differentiates simulation-based learning across these three professional fields, the project group systematically study simulation practices to advance our knowledge on how training designs, simulation practice and learning outcomes mutually shapes simulation-based training.
Bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical applications
Advancing knowledge on these aspects is an absolute prerequisite for advancing simulation pedagogies. Through continuous interdisciplinary dialogue, this comparative and empirical approach bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical applications across professional fields characterized by an otherwise fragmented knowledgebase.