Virtual simulations in nursing are online scenarios that include one or more learners who participate in a teaching/learning activity in a safe, convenient, online environment. Virtual simulations provide opportunities for learner engagement to build knowledge base. Virtual simulations are also an assessment strategy. The purpose of this research study is to determine the nursing students’ perceptions of the conflict management in nursing virtual simulation, and their specific perceptions of the effectiveness of virtual simulation as a teaching/learning/assessment strategy in nursing education. This study includes an examination of technical/ease of use related to virtual simulation, as the authors value a smooth assessment experience.
- What are the strengths of using a virtual simulation about conflict management in nursing for a teaching/learning/assessment activity from the learner’s point of view?
- What are facilitation successes and areas for improvement with using the virtual simulation about conflict management in nursing for a teaching/learning/assessment activity from the learner’s point of view?
- What are factors that relate to technological ease with using the virtual simulation about conflict management in nursing for a teaching/learning/assessment from the learner’s point of view?
The study used a mixed-methods design to describe and document aspects of the conflict management for nurses’ virtual simulation as a teaching/learning/assessment technique in undergraduate Nursing Leadership and Management courses. The mixed methods approach gives participants an opportunity to provide comments so researchers can better understand their perception of the virtual simulation experience. A 43-item qualitative and quantitative online survey developed by the researchers, called the Learner Perceptions of the Conflict Management in Nursing Virtual Simulation Survey was used for the study measures. The survey includes demographics questions as well as items about the use of the virtual simulation over other assessments, such as papers or examinations. Quantitative data analysis was done with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) (version 22.0, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL). Descriptive statistics were used to analyze demographic and Likert-type quantitative items. Content analysis was utilized to examine qualitative data.
Results presented in this session include the 1) use of ease; 2) effectiveness and connection to learning outcomes; 3) the virtual simulation as an assessment strategy; 4) learning and active participation within the virtual simulation; and 5) facilitation of the virtual simulation. A majority of participants reported the virtual simulation was user friendly and convenient. Participants reported a strong connection between the learning outcomes and the virtual simulation. All participants reported the virtual simulation was a more effective assessment of learning that a paper or quiz on the topic of Conflict Management for Nurses. A majority of participants reported they were actively engaged in the virtual simulation activity. Additionally, participants reported the instructions were clear and the pre-simulation briefing was helpful. Qualitative themes that emerged were the virtual simulation 1) provided a safe environment; 2) broke conflict management into easy to apply steps; 3) provided a user-friendly assessment; and 4) was convenient and could be completed at an individual pace.
The results of this study indicate nursing learners received the Conflict Management for Nurses virtual simulation favorably. The nature of the topic of Conflict Management is a blend of skill, evidence, and knowledge that fits well with the virtual simulation activity. The authors recommend further study of the virtual simulation use in nursing to examine the effectiveness.
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