Simsplainer: Experiential Training

This blog series will give layperson primers for different terms you will see used in the VR simulation space. This week: what do we mean by ‘experiential training’?

Experiential training, the educational method where learners gain knowledge through hands-on experiences pioneered by David A. Kolb, has long been a cornerstone of medical education. Unlike the textbook-centred approach, experiential training revolves around ‘learning by doing.’ It’s about engaging directly with the material, reflecting on experiences, and drawing insights that can be applied in real life. It’s how we naturally learn, and it’s a powerful way to grasp complex concepts and build practical skills. It moves away from theoretical learning, focusing more on practical application, a beneficial trait for healthcare professionals who deal with a myriad of situations in their daily practice.

By combining experiential design with VR technology, we can simulate real-world clinical situations in a safe and controlled manner. Not only does this technology make the learning process more engaging, but it also integrates a crucial element of experiential learning, where learners gain knowledge through hands-on experience.

i3 Simulations offer various VR programs tailored for experiential learning. Take SimGym, for instance. In this program, you’re immersed in various emergency scenarios, requiring you to act as the lead physician and make critical decisions. Every choice you make changes the course of the scenario, replicating the unpredictability of real-world emergencies.

Experiential learning in VR clinical simulations offers numerous benefits. It promotes critical thinking and decision-making skills by immersing you in dynamic, realistic scenarios. It offers a safe space to practice procedures, make mistakes, and learn from them without any risk to patients. It also accommodates different learning styles and paces, fostering a more personalized, interactive, and engaging learning experience.

To sum up, the incorporation of VR solutions in the realm of medical education significantly boosts the experiential training process. It bridges the gap between theoretical understanding and practical application in a safe, controlled, and realistic environment, providing a secure, regulated, and true-to-life platform for experiential learning to unfold.

To find out more about our work and research, get in touch or check out the rest of the Simplainer series.

Author avatar
TJ Matthews
Research Manager @ i3 Simulations