The Evaluation of Educators Who Teach Simulation Pedagogy: Part 3 of a 4-Part Series

By: Beth Hallmark

Faculty, clinical and laboratory, in the school of nursing at our university are expected to participate in simulation and debriefing training. While faculty facilitate simulation with human patient simulators, that is not the only educational environment where they use the tenants of simulation education. The NLN has published an important Vision Statement in collaboration with INACSL, “Debriefing Across the Curriculum” (NLN, 2015), that encourages critical reflection not only after simulation events but across the curriculum. We now use simulation to evaluate clinical faculty as they struggle to discuss areas of concern with students.

nursing-05-mFor this type of evaluation, we have developed student-faculty scenarios. For example, in one scenario, a student is playing on her phone. The clinical faculty member is situated in the simulation lab and videotaped using the lab’s AV system while expert faculty, using a rubric, evaluate the faculty-student encounter. After the simulation, faculty participate in a DASH debriefing (Center for Medical Simulation, n.d.). They then review the video to perform a self-evaluation.

We have used this method of faculty evaluation over the last two semesters and are currently gathering data for publication. Prior to using this method of training and evaluation, we had done little clinical faculty training, but the hiring of a new clinical placement coordinator who is responsible for adjunct faculty training provided the impetus to develop some formal training methods.

Before we instituted the faculty-student scenarios, adjunct faculty were surveyed about the training they had received; more than 56 percent wished they had received more training related to the role. In addition to asking for more generalized training, the adjuncts asked specifically for how to have “difficult conversations” with students, how to “handle conflict,” and how to “engage in critical analysis.” The debriefing training helps adjuncts acquire the language to use in difficult situations, and the student encounter simulations give them tools they can use to have students reflect on their actions. It was imperative to add a faculty evaluation piece to this work, and we are looking forward to aggregating our data and publishing the results soon.


National League for Nursing. (2015). Debriefing across the curriculum [NLN Vision Series].

Center for Medical Simulation. (n.d.). Debriefing assessment for simulation in healthcare (DASH)©: Rater’s handbook

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