Simulation vs. Other Teaching Methods

is sim really all that?

While it is hard to demonstrate good amounts of evidence to support this argument, to make it clear, simulation (as with any other single intervention) is not superior (nor is it inferior) to other interventions (such as PowerPoint presentations, small-group discussions, e-learning, virtual reality, serious games etc...)

So what evidence is there that sim is better?
That comes from a combination of sources - see Mastery Learning, Translational Simulation, In Situ vs. Sim Suite & Intervention Effectiveness for more of an idea on methods to demonstrate impact.

Otherwise - consider how to best optimise the other teaching methods available:

See about p-cubed presentations & how to talk like TED Talks for an idea how to optimise your presentations.

To develop e-learning, consider Gilly Salmon's 5 stage model & how to design e-learning.

Alternatively, when considering Serious Games for healthcare consider reading these two reviews here and here.


  1. Pros and cons of simulation in medical education: A review -

  2. Is individual practice in an immersive and interactive virtual reality application non-inferior to practicing with traditional equipment in learning systematic clinical observation? A randomized controlled trial -

  3. Pilot study comparing simulation-based and didactic lecture-based critical care teaching for final-year medical students -

  4. Didactic lectures versus simulation training: a randomised pilot evaluation of its impact on surgical skill -

  5. Face-to-Face Learning vs. E-learning: The Debate -