Monash project team

Professor Debra Nestel

Programme Lead

Debra Nestel, PhD, FSSH, is Professor of Simulation Education in Healthcare, Monash University, and Professor of Surgical Education, Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne, Australia. Debra is Editor in Chief, Advances in Simulation, the journal of the Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine (SESAM). She is program lead for the Graduate Programs in Surgical Education (Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) and the Graduate Programs in Surgical Science (Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne). Debra leads the national program for simulation educators – NHET-Sim and a virtual network in simulated patient methodology. Debra has published over 180 peer-reviewed papers in health professions education, edited books on simulated patient methodology (2015), healthcare simulation (2018), surgical education (2019) and research methods in healthcare simulation (2019). Debra has won many awards and prizes for her work in simulation including the Australian Awards for University Teaching, the Ray Page Lifetime Contribution to Simulation Award (Simulation Australasia), a presidential citation from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and is the first Australia-based fellow of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

Roles in simulation

  • Chair, Research Committee, Society for Simulation in Healthcare
  • Past Chair, Australian Society for Simulation in Healthcare
  • Past Board member, Simulation Australasia
  • Past Board member, Society for Simulation in Healthcare
  • Editor in Chief, Advances in Simulation
  • Course Director, short courses award and non-award courses in simulation
  • Graduate student supervisor of various projects in simulation

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Associate Professor Margaret Bearman

Deputy Programme Lead

Margaret Bearman, PhD is an Associate Professor (Research) at the Centre for Research and Assessment in Digital Learning (CRADLE), Deakin University. She is an expert educator with particular interests in simulation, assessment/feedback and research synthesis. Over the course of her career, Margaret has designed and conducted rigorous qualitative studies, evaluation research, systematic reviews and randomised trials. She has written over 70 publications and published an edited book on simulated patient methodology. Her government reports have significantly affected Australian health education policy and practice. Her interest in simulation methodologies spans all health professions and modalities, with experience developing and researching virtual patients, immersive simulations, role-plays and simulated-patient methodology. Recently, she presented a keynote at the Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) Asia Pacific in December 2016 with an exploration of simulated patients and assessment practices.

Roles in simulation

  • Program lead, Graduate Certificate of Clinical Simulation
  • Deputy Director, National Health Education and Training in Simulation
  • Supervisor of higher degree by research students investigating simulation

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Dr Jennifer Harlim

Research Fellow

Jennifer Harlim, PhD completed her PhD studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia. Her post-graduate research was in the area of engineering education and professional development focusing on problem solving. Prior to and during her PhD studies, Jennifer was actively involved in a number of educational-based projects. After completing her research studies in 2013, she worked with a team of researchers and educators at the School of Health Sciences, RMIT University. Her knowledge of educational theories and prior experience on working in educational projects contributed to the last stage of the project where the 3-D simulation game, Second Life was utilised for the training of healthcare students. She joined Monash University in early 2014 and has since then been involved in various simulation-based learning projects within the field of healthcare education, working together with Professor Debra Nestel. She is also currently the Director of Operations for the Simulated Patient Network. She has 16 peer-reviewed publications including 4 within the simulation area. Ontop of being interested in the research area of problem solving, simulation-based learning, engineering/healthcare education and professional practice, she is also interested in the area of research methods. Her particular area of interest is in the use of qualitative research in traditionally quantitative fields.

Roles in simulation

  • Post-doc Research Assistant at School of Health Sciences, RMIT University in 2013
  • Involved in research projects within simulation-based education in healthcare since 2014
  • Director of Operations for the Simulated Patient Network

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