The Evaluation of Educators Who Teach Simulation Pedagogy: Part I of a 4-Part Series Who’s Looking Downstream at Simulation Train the Trainer Participants?

By: Sabrina Beroz

This is the first in a series of four blogs on the evaluation of educators who teach simulation pedagogy. Many institutions send their educators to Train the Trainer programs. The hope is these participants will return home to teach their newly learned simulation knowledge to other health care educators. The question arises: Who is looking downstream at the quality and effectiveness of the education provided by Train the Trainer participants?

Often, there is little to no follow-up on the content and context of the education Train the Train alumni provide to their institutions. This blog looks downstream at classroom engagement and teaching strategies. Subsequent blogs will address ways to assess the accuracy of the content taught.

Let’s begin with the how of good practice in health care education. How it is taught is as important as what is taught. One of the best known constructivist models we use in education is the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Education by Chickering and Gamson (1987). This model highlights a learner-centered approach and active engagement. The seven principles align nicely with education theory and relate to classroom activities critical for effective instruction of simulation-based education. The table below offers the primary instructor a way to provide constructive feedback following observation downstream of Train the Trainer participants. The teaching behaviors are based on educator Ron Ritchart’s work on creating a culture of thinking and a college instructional faculty performance review.

Principle (Chickering & Gamson, 1987) Teaching Behaviors (Montgomery College 2018; Ritchhart, 2016)
I. Encourage interaction between the facilitator and participant. Introduce self and others.

Establish psychological safety.

Review logistics and agenda.

Use a learner-centered curriculum.

Actively motivate and engage learners.

II. Develop reciprocity and cooperation among participants. Establish a climate for reciprocity (participation and discourse).

Provide interactive and collaborative exercises.

Promote team building.

Evidence participant interaction.

III. Use of active learning. Use of facilitated group work.

Use of space, time, and attention.

Classroom arrangement and materials maximize learning.

Adjust teaching strategies to attain identified objectives and outcomes.

IV. Provide prompt feedback. Adhere to learner objectives.

Use classroom assessment techniques to facilitate accurate feedback.

Answer questions accurately and completely.

Summarize and clarify content.

Promote a spirit of inquiry.

V. Emphasize time on task. Provide evidence of planning to meet objectives.

Create equitable practices for all learners.

Connect theory to simulation development, implementation, and evaluation.

Allocate and use time well.

Use effective communication skills to enhance learning.

VI. Communicate high expectations. Provide opportunities to build meaningful relationships (networking).

Use Socratic or advocacy-inquiry questioning to enhance critical thinking and clarify assumptions.

Encourage risk-taking.

Model high expectations with guidelines, standards, and methods of simulation.

Use vocabulary relevant to simulation.

VII. Respect diverse talents and ways of learning. Recognize and use adult learning principles.

Correctly advance level of instruction.

Vary instructional strategies to accommodate various learning styles.

Logically align activities with learning objectives.

Present Information clearly.

Provide closure and preparation for next session.

This table can be used for annual evaluation to provide evidence of effective classroom activities and teaching strategies, ultimately giving feedback in the service of learning.


Chickering, A.W., & Gamson, Z.F. (1987, Fall). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. Washington Center News.

Montgomery College. (2018). Instructional faculty performance review.

Ritchhart, R. (2016). Creating cultures of thinking: The 8 cultures we must marshal to truly transform our schools.

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