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SimLearn – Centre for Simulation-based Learning for Professions

University of Stavanger


The centre wants to educate professionals that are better prepared for practice and lifelong learning through transforming higher education by implementing simulation-based learning. This will contribute to faculty development and new research-based knowledge about how to use simulation-based learning to improve student learning in higher education.

Strengths and weaknesses:

Input factors supporting simulation-based learning is solid. Networks with other organisations, including international partners, is an asset and the relevance of the provision is well articulated.

The bid lacks elaboration on student engagement, ownership and learning outcomes, and the description of current practice is too general. Furthermore, the R&D dimension of the project is not made clear, nor are the specifics of the teaching and learning assessment methods. The point of SBL is to produce graduates who are better prepared to function as professionals, but the case is not convincingly made that they achieve this. SBL is used in varying degrees in the professions included in the proposal.

The rationale behind the centre is clearly expressed and it is put in the context of international development. However, overall, the project is inadequately defined. How the different professions will be brought together into a single coherent centre is not satisfactorily addressed. SBL could be innovative, but how this is to take place is very vague. Furthermore, impact and evaluation are only mentioned implicitly through innovation research, rather than as a systematic evaluation of the centre and its achievements. The three levels of dissemination are quoted, but what is written as to how they might achieve the higher levels of dissemination is unclear. Students do not seem to have an active role in the centre.

Information is lacking or unclear regarding several aspects of the criteria for awarding SFU status.

Points to consider:

  • How does research inform teaching?
  • How does the centre develop innovative R&D-based education?
  • How are students involved in the development of the provision and the centre respectively?
  • How can the goals of awareness, understanding and action by achieved?

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