Learning After the Simulation Is Over: The Role of Simulation in Supporting Ongoing Self-Regulated Learning in Practice

Acad Med. 2020 Apr;95(4):523-526. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003078.


The complex and dynamic nature of the clinical environment often requires health professionals to assess their own performance, manage their learning, and modify their practices based on self-monitored progress. Self-regulated learning studies suggest that while learners may be capable of such in situ learning, they often need guidance to enact it effectively. In this Perspective, the authors argue that simulation training may be an ideal venue to prepare learners for self-regulated learning in the clinical setting but may not currently be optimally fostering self-regulated learning practices. They point out that current simulation debriefing models emphasize the need to synthesize a set of identified goals for practice change (what behaviors might be modified) but do not address how learners might self-monitor the success of their implementation efforts and modify their learning plans based on this monitoring when back in the clinical setting. The authors describe the current models of simulation-based learning implied in the simulation literature and suggest potential targets in the simulation training process, which might be optimized to allow medical educators to take full advantage of the opportunity simulation provides to support and promote ongoing self-regulated learning in practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical*
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational*
  • Self-Directed Learning as Topic*
  • Simulation Training / methods*