First year students in the College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare were challenged to manage a simulated disease outbreak, giving them an authentic taste of professional practice.

Microbiologist enters scene of outbreak

Lecturers on the BSc (Hons) Health Promotion and Public Health designed an opportunity for students to link theory to practice in a realistic and challenging environment.  In the absence of clinical placements, a classroom-based simulation was developed to allow students to practise managing a disease outbreak scenario:  The Zombie Apocolypse.

Students examine fluid samples

Students assume various public health roles in this classroom-based scenario

Based on research which showed that learning is more effective when simulation is as authentic as possible, a TV newsflash was used to introduce the students to the scenario and set up the activity.

newsreader announces zombie outbreak

Carrie Granger delivering breaking news

“The trigger video made the experience more authentic for the students.”  Carrie Granger, Lecturer, BSc (Hons) Health Promotion and Public Health

Carrie Granger, lecturer, and Helen Matthews, course leader, discuss the benefits of using video to add authenticity to simulation and offer advice for colleagues who want to do something similar.

“Have a go.  It was fun and the students got a lot out of it by linking practice to theory.”  Helen Matthews, Course Leader, BSc (Hons) Health Promotion and Public Health

For advice on using technology in your teaching and assessment, please speak to your Academic Developer in Technology Enhanced Learning

 Author: Anna Armstrong is an Academic Developer in Technology-Enhanced Learning at the University of West London.