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0118 Promoting Exploratory Discourse Within Post-simulation Debriefs
  1. Martin G Parry1,2,
  2. Wesley Scott-Smith2
  1. 1South Thames Foundation School, Brighton, East Sussex, UK
  2. 2Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, East Sussex, UK


Background Simulation-based education is a complex and challenging pedagogy. Several researchers have noted that the post-scenario reflective discussion/debrief is the key to experiential learning within this type of education. Exploratory talk has been used as a marker for collaborative or peer-group learning within school children. Barnes identified key words or phrases which indicated the use of exploratory talk.1 We are conducting a research study to determine if simple educational interventions can effectively promote exploratory talk and peer-group learning within post-simulation debrief sessions.

Methodology We are conducting a qualitative study, using an action research methodology,2 with the researcher positioned as a participant observer. Using a combination of field notes and audio recordings of post-simulation debrief sessions we are studying peer-peer discourse amongst foundation doctor participants. Pre and post intervention debriefs will be studied to identify episodes of exploratory discourse between participants. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with participants to explore the challenges of peer-led debriefs.

Results We will present our study results focusing on peer-peer interaction, the use of identifiable episodes of exploratory discourse as an marker of collaborative learning and the impact of peer-led facilitation as a component of post-simulation debriefs.

Potential Impact We aim to demonstrate that simple educational interventions can produce significant alterations in the structure and dynamic flow of discourse in post-simulation debriefs. By providing participants with basic ground rules, along with observation scripts, our research aims are to promote the occurrence of peer-peer discussion and exploratory talk within reflective feedback sessions. We will use exploratory discourse as a marker of deeper learning which potentially leads to transformational learning in the clinical workplace.


  1. Mercer N, Hodgkinson S. (2008) (Eds) Exploring Talk in School. London: Sage

  2. Lewin K. Action Research and Minority Problems. The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues 1946;2:34–36

  • Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration

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