Learning and Teaching with Simulation

Simulation modalities include task trainers, manikins, screen-based simulators and humans (simulated participants). Each of these modalities has wide variation in their level of technology, the extent of a task they support, their cost, their degree of representation of reality and the amount of requisite preparation and post-simulation support.

In this 3 day course, scholars will learn to make decisions about selection of simulators for specific learning activities for each modality. The environment in which the simulations take place will also be considered (e.g. skills lab, in situ, mobile etc.) and additional technologies to support learning such as audio-visual capture and review. Using a systematic approach to simulation-based education, scholars will design, implement and evaluate a simulation. Scholars will also have the opportunity to apply theory from the foundation unit in health professions education.

Who should attend

This course is designed for anyone interested in using simulation as an educational method, particularly health and social care professionals and those involved in their training and education.

Learning objectives

  • Discuss features and limitations of different simulation modalities.
  • Match simulators to educational purpose.
  • Identify specific considerations in using different simulation modalities.
  • Describe adjuncts to learning using diverse simulators (e.g. settings and technology).
  • Demonstrate effective use of simulators to develop psychomotor skills for clinical procedures.
  • Demonstrate effective use of simulators to develop holistic clinical practice.

Accelerate you qualification

Eligible participants who complete the assessed version of this short course can receive 6 credit points towards the M4008 Graduate Certificate in Clinical Simulation.

Learn more at our Award Courses page.

Assessment Tasks:

  1. Analytic paper (2500 words) (40%)
    1. Discuss the benefits and limitations of different simulation modalities
    2. Select a simulation modality and match it to educational purpose and identify specific considerations for its application
    3. Review approaches to supporting the development of simulators to support procedural skills development
  2. Develop an evidence-based lesson plan that uses simulation as the core educational method (2000 words) (35%)
  3. Write a structured reflection on a lesson plan implementation (1500 words) (25%)

Course Director

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Professor Debra Nestel


Professor of Healthcare Simulation in Education

Debra completed her first degree at Monash and has since lived and worked in Hong Kong, London, and now back in Melbourne. Debra leads a national programme in simulation education, a network in simulated patient methodology, and is Editor in Chief of Advances in Simulation, the journal of the Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine. Debra leads the new Graduate Certificate in Clinical Simulation.

When Debra is not at Monash, she is busy being a Professor of Surgical Education, Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne. In this role, she is Course Director of the Graduate Programs in Surgical Education, co-badged degrees with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. She is also Course Director of Graduate Programs in Surgical Science.

Debra is passionate about research and writing; she has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers in health professions education, published edited books on simulated patient methodology (2015), healthcare simulation (2018), and has two edited books for publication in 2019, on surgical education and healthcare simulation research. She has won many awards and prizes for her work in simulation.

Click here to access Debra's Research Gate profile.


Dr Ramesh (Ram) Mark Nataraja

BSc (Hons), MBBS (London), GCCS (Hons), FRCSEd (Paeds.Surg), GDipSurgEd, FFSTEd, FRACS(Paeds)

Director of Surgical Simulation

Ram is a dual-trained (UK & Australia) General Paediatric Surgeon working at Monash Children’s Hospital. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics at Monash University and coordinates paediatric simulation-based educational activities at MCH in his role as the Director of Surgical Simulation and Co-Chair of the Simulation Service. He has been a pioneer in both minimally invasive surgery in children and surgical simulation for many years having designed the first validated paediatric surgical bench trainer model in 2002 at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. He has an educational and clinical research background with 47 peer reviewed publications, 65 international conference presentations, 2 textbooks published by Wiley-Blackwell and 8 book chapters. He is also passionate about educational reform in Low- and Middle-Income countries having been the Monash Children’s Hospital International country lead for Myanmar, successful conducting a simulation-based medical education programme for the last 4 years with his local in country colleagues. This work also has led as temporary advisor to the World Health Organisation, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.