Branching Simulation Designs for Virtual Patients

May 20, 2014 8:00 - 10:30am

Kira S King, Ph.D.1, Rosalyn P Scott, MD2, Mary E Davidson, MSN APRN CHPN3, Edward Bope, MD4 
1Decision Simulation, 2Dayton VA Medical Center, 3VA Healthcare System of Ohio, 4Columbus VA Ambulatory Care Center

Branched narrative simulations are highly effective at supporting the decision-making process for a variety of purposes including instruction, assessment, and performance support. Through alternate learning paths, we can demonstrate the consequences of optimal and suboptimal choices, personalize feedback, assess errors, and guide decision-making by modeling how to use job aides effectively. While there are limitless designs, many authors are unaware of the possibilities and are unsure of how to create them. We are building a library of templates to facilitate the creation of branched narrative simulations by increasing authors' awareness of different pedagogical approaches and by streamlining the design process itself. This session will explore several case studies of branched narrative simulations along with templates that authors can import into their simulations to implement various pedagogical approaches. For instructional simulations, we will explore a narrative virtual patient simulation template that uses matched examples to illustrate how to implement a communications model. With this approach, learners can observe both an example of best practice, as well as an example with a less than optimal approach. For assessment and feedback, we will demonstrate a simulation template that uses rules and counters to personalize feedback. In this approach, learners are branched to different screens based upon the answers they select on assessment questions.