|Abstract: The use of simulation and virtual reality applications to teach relevant skills related to medical, mental health, policing, and other best practices has become increasingly relevant in instructional design to enhance student learning in safe environments for real-world applications. A recent meta-analysis (Merchant et al., 2016) has demonstrated the overall effectiveness and positive impact that simulation and similar technologies has had on learning outcomes in higher education.
Humber College’s simulation laboratory has effectually utilized this technology for teaching conflict resolution, counselling and other skills with students across Programs. As a means of broadening the scope of pedagogical practices for both Developmental Services Worker (DSW) and Bachelor of Behaviour Science (BBS) students, a pilot program was conducted based on created simulations with actors with developmental disabilities who presented with various emotional and behavior challenges.
Students were randomized into separate simulation settings (“school setting” and “community setting”) that included a non-interactive component (identifying operationally defined target behavior, collecting ABC data and identifying function of behavior) and interactive component (teaching an alternative functional communication response). BBS students alone performed functional analysis sessions (Iwata et al., 1982/1994; Hanley et al., 2014) and the collection of data to identify probable function(s). The study focused on the accurate identification, application and generalization of skills learned in the classroom and social validity measures related to the technology, placement preparedness and fundamental skills learned. Results suggest that students found the technology highly effective, realistic, socially valid and valuable for their learning outcomes as future behavioural professionals.
Key Words (could not add to the box below): behavior assessment, skill-building, simulation technology, higher education|