During COVID-19, Maudsley Simulation successfully pivoted to fully online delivery of simulation-based education (SBE) in mental health. In migrating digitally, the simulation faculty experienced a range of new phenomena and challenges. The authors’ experiences may be transferable to other specialities and for other educator groups. By sharing the authors’ experiences, this study aims to support others adapt to online SBE.
This piece represents the authors’ collective reflections on the challenges of adapting their facilitation skills to the online environment. It also offers various suggestions on how to improve the learner experience in view of these challenges.
Beyond merely platform orientation and operating procedure familiarisation, the team gained insights into ensuring optimal learning, engagement and participant experience during online deliveries. Delivery of online SBE brings several potential barriers to psychological safety and these warrant careful consideration by experienced simulationists.
Optimising participant engagement and psychological safety remain key considerations despite this novel medium. Facilitators must be willing to adapt accordingly to begin delivering high-quality online SBE.
From their experience, facilitators must reframe their debriefing expectations and adjust how they engage participants and manage group dynamics given the inherently different nature of this new learning environment.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
O'Sullivan, O.P., Bignell, A., Powell, J., Parish, S., Campbell, L., Iannelli, H., Attoe, C. and Billon, G. (2023), "Facilitator reflections on online delivery of simulation-based mental health education during COVID-19", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 53-59. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-02-2021-0009
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