Designing the simulation learning environment: An active engagement model

Rodney Fisher


Simulation is rapidly becoming a significantly learning methodology in healthcare education. The unique characteristics of simulation learning create a bridging experience between the classroom and actual patient care and, more importantly, helps learners develop advanced clinical reasoning skills. Learner active engagement is a critical requirement for effective learning during simulation and debriefing, which tasks educators to design simulation learning environments that foster learner active engagement. To foster learner active engagement, the educator and the learner must develop a dyadic relationship of trust, openness, sharing, and safety. The formation of this dyadic relationship implies that the learner has engaged in the learning environment. The simulation literature lacks significant discussion of how the elements of the simulation learning environment can be used to create a learning environment that encourages active engagement in the learning process.  From the information gathered through a literature search in CINHAHL, PubMed, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences databases, this article describes the critical elements of effective simulation learning. The purposes of this article are to elucidate how the interaction of important elements of the simulation experience can foster active engagement and to introduce an Active Engagement Model as a framework for designing the simulation learning environment that encourages and supports learner engagement. The components of the model are the educator, the learner, the environment, which must interact effectively to form the functional entity of the model–-the educator/learner dyad. Once the educator/learner dyad is formed, all the elements of the model function in concert to form an effective simulation learning environment.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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