An evaluation of an innovative simulation programme for mental health workers
Simulations offer real experiences for learners. This project evaluates a simulation programme for mental health workers who interact with people who 'hear voices'. It will be helpful for tertiary teachers who want to use simulation in their courses.
Arana Pearson – Keepwell Ltd.
Date completed: June 2012
About this project
This research evaluates the impact on practice and attitude in the workplace of an experiential learning approach in education. It used MP3 technology to train mental health workers through a simulation of what it is like to hear distressing voices. Mental health workers who had attended the training over the past 2 years were surveyed, and 2 focus groups were convened. A range of stakeholders including workplace managers and tertiary training leaders were approached to add their perspective. There is also some reflection on simulation training that is based upon consumer experience.
Findings and recommendations
This project has demonstrated how consumer participation in staff training through experiential learning may change workforce performance. It showed how this programme of experiential learning does achieve attitudinal change that motivates practice change.
The recommendation is that where industry 'hears the voices' of customer criticism regarding service attitude, that educators consider a programme of experiential learning that involves the consumer in the design and delivery of a programme of learning.
Where businesses identify a need for improvement in the human interaction with their customers, that need should be considered equally along with skill and knowledge in the design and measurable outcome of training programmes developed for their industry. Both consumers and staff benefit through the letting go of assumption or personal opinion and getting to understand one another through effective opinion survey and reflective dialogue.
Work place educators are encouraged to use principles of androgogy as distinct from pedagogy for effective adult learning.
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