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International Conference on Analyzing and advancing simulations for professional learning (SimPro2020)



The International Conference on Analyzing and advancing simulations for professional learning is funded by Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). The conference was due to April 1, but is now postponed until further notice.

The conference brings together practice-oriented research on simulation-based training from three different domains: medicine, maritime navigation, and police education. In their talks, the conference keynotes discuss the theoretical underpinnings of professional learning in simulated environments, putting focus on embodied actions with different artefacts during simulation as well as the importance of language and social interaction for reflecting on simulation in post-simulation debriefings.

The presenters report detailed studies on practices of training and assessment in simulated environments and critically discuss their empirical findings in regards to the development of skills and competencies needed in different professions. A final keynote talk will reflect on different theoretical perspectives on learning in simulated environments which is followed by a panel discussion featuring the three key note speakers, summing up the conference and its take home messages. As a result, the conference identifies critical features of simulation practice and outlines how results can advance simulation pedagogy in professional domains with high standards of safety. The conference turns to researchers and educators in simulation-based education, as well as to practitioners and students.

Scientific description

The conference is organized around three themes that is outlined under the following rubrics (see linked PDF-file)

  • Embodiment in simulation
  • Reflection on simulation
  • Perspectives on simulation


Today the advantages of simulations for developing the skills necessary for effective professional work and promoting safety are broadly acknowledged. However, there is less consensus on the significance of authenticity and reflection as drivers for successful outcomes. Whilst much effort is devoted to study the effects of the simulation intervention, that is assumed to cause changes, the situation itself is largely dismissed. Consequently, the practice of simulation is “black boxed” which implies a need for more in-depth knowledge on the process of learning and the conditions necessary for students to develop their professional knowledge. The aim of the conference is to “open the black box” of practice and direct the analytical focus to what actually takes place when people are training together and reflect on simulations.

Scientific Novelty

Whilst much research on simulation in safety-critical domains relies on an almost deterministic view that certain technologies and educational models would have uniform effects, there is an increasing quest for research that account for the complexities involved in professional learning and needs for designing simulation environments and instruction accordingly. Naïve assumptions on realism, often in terms of fidelity, as important for learning has been replaced by notions such as “functional task alignment”, directing attention to the level of realism required to reach various learning objectives of the training. However, there is still a lack of research on what such re-conceptualisations mean in simulation practice. The present conference aims to contribute to this discussion by addressing how bodies are represented and interactively enacted during simulations. Further, the conference will present and discuss the significance of reflection on simulations, by analyses of how models for debriefing are employed in practice and how opportunities for purposeful reflection could be designed for.

A principal idea is that these issues are of vital importance for advancing simulation pedagogy across safety-critical domains, and that exchange between researcher and educators from different fields would contribute to enrich our knowledge on how to enhance safety in important societal sectors.


Sidansvarig: Peter Larsson|Sidan uppdaterades: 2020-03-12

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