The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Robert Keegan1, Gary Brown2, Aifang Gordon2; 1Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA; 2Center for Online Learning, Portland State University, Portland, OR

Background: Research suggests that simulation technology has potential to enhance student achievement particularly for students having a preference for hands-on learning. The aim of this study was to compare ventilation learning outcomes in students attending traditional lecture versus students using an active learning ventilation simulation.Methods: A comprehensive computer simulation (the Virtual Ventilator ICU©) was developed to advance students’ learning of the complexities of respiratory physiology as applied to mechanical ventilation. Using a cross-over experimental design, 41 students were divided into two strata based upon class performance rankings (UPPER and LOWER) and were then randomly assigned to work through scenarios on a ventilation simulation or view a lecture. Two distinct ventilation topics, one procedural (CONTROLS) and one conceptual (CLINICAL), were developed for each instructional method. Students completed an exam on the content in the lectures or simulation scenarios 3 weeks following each intervention as well as a survey concerning each of the content delivery methods at the end of the experiment. A third exam was administered 6 weeks after the last intervention. The effect of instructional strategy (lecture or simulation) and class rank (UPPER or LOWER) on student exam performance was evaluated using a 2 x 2 ANOVA using a p value < .05. Results: Students in the UPPER ranking category outperformed students in the LOWER ranking category on the CLINICAL exam. A trend (p=.06) toward improved performance of students who had learned the CLINICAL topic by use of the simulation was identified. The survey indicated that students wished to have the simulation available during their clinical ICU rotations, were more engaged as learners when using the simulation, and agreed that the simulation allowed them to see the direct results of their case management decisions. Conclusions: The simulation was at least equivalent as an instructional intervention for all students compared with the traditional lecture on the procedural CONTROLS topic while students showed a tendency to achieve higher scores when using the simulation to learn the conceptual CLINICAL ventilation topic. The simulation was perceived as an engaging and desirable instructional tool that provided immediate feedback. Sponsored Research - None The Virtual Ventilator ICU© main application screen.