“Development of practical activity simulation model and its application for student training at Kaunas University of medicine”

Project duration: from 2006-05-05 till 2008-04-30
Project value – LTL 1.238.937

Project authorship

 

Rūta Ustinavičienė

 

Paulius Vasilavičius

 

Jolita Kirvaitienė

 

Vidmantas Januškevičius

 

Sigita Marozienė

Brief project description

Department of Environment and Occupational Medicine of Kaunas University of Medicine has 650 students every year (2nd year students of Nursing and Odontology faculties, 3rd year students of Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health faculties, 6th year students of Medicine faculty, residents of occupational medicine specialty, Master students of public health, doctoral students of public health). The traditional training methods are used for schooling of students: lectures, laboratory works, and part of theoretical training materials are delivered in a way of distant training. The Department of Environment and occupational medicine of Kaunas University of Medicine performed the survey in February/March of 2005, in the attempt to assess the needs of theoretical and practical knowledge, and their complex adaptation. As many as 429 graduates and lecturers of Kaunas University of Medicine were surveyed, by focusing special attention into the survey of managers of practical facilities. 51 percent of the surveyed graduates specified that they feel the lack of practical knowledge: the insufficiency of theoretical knowledge was specified only by 16 percent of graduates. As many as 68 percent of managers of practical facilities indicated the insufficiency of practical skills and abilities, and the need for traditional training of graduates in their work environment. Duration of adaptation period in a new place of work is specified by the majority of the surveyed persons as 6 months, and the insufficiency of complex theoretical knowledge and practical skills and abilities was indicated as the main reason of lengthy adaptation period. It became evident that by using the classical training methods, the complex application of theoretical knowledge and practical skills is not assured. The students have no possibilities during the studies to get familiar with many practical situations. Now the need emerges to apply new and innovative training methods for training of students. Following the sample of foreign training institutions, the Practical Activity Simulation Model (hereinafter – the PASM) was selected because it is most suitable and relevant to the need of complex application of theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
The project idea was to develop the Practical Activity Simulation Model (PASM) and to implement it in the Department of Environment and occupational medicine of Kaunas University of Medicine. PASM is the computer software (simulator) + simulated situation of practical activity (hereinafter – the PaVėSSis - the application of definition is coordinated with State Language Inspectorate of the Republic of Lithuania). PaVėSSis means the theoretic information of the topic + visual information + legal database + virtual practical work + problem situation + self control test. During the laboratory sessions in the installed computer workstation the student will perform the virtual laboratory tasks and will solve the problem situation – the PaVėSSis. The students will be able to prepare for practical works and afterwards to perform the independent tasks in a convenient place. The tasks performed by students shall be stored in database. The lecturers shall evaluate the tasks and provide consultations in virtual space.
During the project implementation period, the PASM shall be applied for training of 570 students. This model shall educate the competent specialists, and meet the needs of students, i.e.:
It will educate practical skills: the students, working according to the PASM, will solve practical situations that may occur in their work.
Solving of practical situations shall be controlled by tutors who will also be available for consultations by e-mail.
Solving of practical situations will guarantee the better learning of theoretical knowledge, thus ensuring the complex application of practical and theoretical knowledge.
Ability to apply theoretical knowledge in practice will reduce the adaptation period of graduates, and increase their competitive ability in labour market.
Attractive learning environment will induce to properly manage the studies time in the University.

Goal and tasks of the project:
The project goal is to reduce shortage of practical skills of students, and shorten their adaptation period after they start their work and career.

The following tasks are raised for the achievement of the goal:
To create the Practical Activity Simulation Model;
To create the software - Practical Activity Simulator;
To create the Practical Activity Simulation stations (PaVėSSis);
To train the tutors of the Department of Environment and occupational medicine to operate the simulator software;
To adapt the PASM for training of students at the Department of Environment and occupational medicine of Kaunas University of Medicine;
To assess the efficiency of the PASM.

The expected results:

After adapting the PASM, the students will learn to apply the theoretical knowledge in a complex way for solving of practical problems. Ability to apply theoretical knowledge in practice will reduce the adaptation period of graduates, and increase their competitive ability in labour market. The developed simulation situations can be easily updated, therefore only new information will be used in the process of studies. After training the tutors work on simulator, the PASM will be applied for unlimited time, and that will ensure not only the improvement of qualification of the project participants, but also the complexity of theoretical and practical skills of those studying according to the PASM. The learning environment of students will improve; the computer class will be equipped. That determines a better access to information and encourages individual work. PASM efficiency assessment will be a response to the emerging actual need of labour market.