Sessions NEO Atrium - KI's Educational congress 2022

Here you can find abstracts for the afternoon sessions at KI Educational congress 28 September.

NEO Atrium

13.30 - 15.00

Moderators: Amani Eltyab & Natalie Jellinek

Evaluation of the use of virtual laboratory simulations (an ENVISION_2027 project)

Per Antonson

Background/Problem: Virtual simulations are a relatively new tool that can be used in life science education to increase understanding of methods and theoretical content. The virtual simulations can be used to prepare for laboratory sessions, to explain theory, and to perform in digital format, experiments that cannot be done in a course laboratory. Previously we have evaluated different digital platforms and selected the platform Labster, developed by a Danish company, for use in the Biomedicine Programmes at KI. Furthermore, different ways to use virtual simulations in biomedical education have been studied in a course development project. In this project, we have developed a set of questions that can be used to evaluate student learning and appreciation of virtual simulations.

Aim: The aim of this project was to develop a set of questions that can be used to evaluate the student perspective on the use of virtual simulations in different courses. Method A set of questions was selected from a pool that had been used in courses and universities within the Erasmus+ funded ENVISION_2027 network ( Seven questions were selected, modified, validated on students, and further modified with help from the Unit for Teaching and Learning, KI.

Following this, the validated questions were included in the KI course web survey for the course “Genetics, Genomics and Functional Genomics” in the Bachelor’s Programme in Biomedicine in the spring semester 2022. Answers in the form of graphs and free text comments were collated.

Results: Preliminary results suggest that the validated questions were appropriately formulated, enabling valuable information on the student opinion on the usefulness of Labster to be obtained. Answers from students suggested that Labster digital simulations increased the understanding of the course content and increased the ability to integrate theory and practice. Free text comments collected in connection to the questions provided information about how best to use simulations, and which simulations were most appreciated by the students.

Conclusion: The set of evaluation questions that were developed is, in our experience, a good tool to evaluate the use of Labster/ virtual simulations. When these questions have been used in additional courses, it will be possible to comparisons to further improve the use of virtual simulations in biomedical education.

Can Digital lab simulation improve practical training within the biomedicine program?

Matthew Kirkham

Background/Problem: To be a successful biomedical researcher you need excellent experimental skills and a good theoretical knowledge of research methods. The undergraduate Biomedicine program has course labs integrated within courses to train these skills. But there is a limit to the number of course labs that can fit within any one course. This is due to time it takes to organize and run the labs, cost and availability of the appropriate teaching spaces.

Aim: Improve experimental skills and enhance theoretical knowledge of methods in cell biology on the course Cell, Stem Cell and Developmental biology, Biomedicine program through the uses of digital lab simulations.

Methods: Use digital lab simulation to help teach both practical and theory elements. The lab simulations were used in various contexts:

  • To expand access to lab experiences: as stand-alone labs when you don’t have access to high-end lab machinery.
  • As preparation for a real lab: “dress rehearsal”.
  • Combined with other teaching moments to increase understanding of methods and improve experimental skills.

Results: We first piloted digital simulations from Labster with a subset of students in the summer of 2019 and received surprisingly promising feedback. We then expanded the use of Labster both in 2020 and 2021. From end of course surveys we learnt that the students felt that the digital simulations were a good way to study the practical content. But they felt very strongly that the simulations should be used in addition to course labs and not as a replacement. The simulations worked best either before a course lab as a preparation, or as an alternative way of developing theoretical understanding of methods used in biomedical research.

Conclusion: Teachers felt the simulations offered more than a video or a quiz and, in some situations could be used as an alternative source of theory. But careful consideration should be given on how to incorporate them successfully.

European Network for Virtual lab & Interactive SImulated ONline learning_2027 (ENVISION_2027)

Louisa Cheng

Background: ENVISION_2027 (European Network for Virtual lab & Interactive SImulated ONline learning_2027) is a 2-year Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project of 6 European universities, funded under the EU Key Action 226, Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness for years 2021-2023.

Main objectives of the network are:

  1. to research and recommend how to complement remote teaching of biosciences/biomedicine laboratory and teamwork activities through using state-of-the-art virtual reality tools, and
  2. research how to integrate learning analytics into virtual laboratory teaching to obtain a personalized learning experience for the student. Here are the intellectual outputs for this project: IOs 1-2: Survey Execution and results To find out what kind of teaching obstacles and/or solutions different universities have found during remote teaching IO
  3. Virtual laboratories: Case studies To conduct virtual laboratory case studies as pilot e-learning course/modules by using (1) fully software-based virtual laboratory/virtual reality (VR) modules and (2) other digital tools and platforms without a virtual laboratory/VR IO
  4. Teamwork – Case studies To produce several e-learning course/modules using digital tools and various platforms for online teamwork IO
  5. Learning analytics To determine how to support virtual laboratory and teamwork course modules through the use of learning analytics (LA). Use of LA provides insight into improvement of the design of virtual labs and teamwork.

The anticipated results are:

  1. Analysis of the survey of good practices and bottlenecks in digital education in Europe, especially during 2020 transition to remote teaching.
  2. Piloted e-learning courses/modules implementing different virtual laboratory and online teamwork technologies, methods and platforms, which engage the students in active interaction, rewarding learning and good learning experience.
  3. Recommendations of good practices in implementing virtual laboratory and teamwork modules.
  4. An actively collaborating new network of bioscience teachers benefiting from each other's different fields of special expertise and sharing of know-how.

We have so far started collected data for the survey (IOs 1&2) and virtual laboratory and online teamwork evaluation/feedback. We are establishing strategies to analyse the collected LA data from virtual laboratory and online teamwork. Several seminars were held to exchange experience and disseminate results.

Quality education in postgraduate biostatistics courses: a pilot study based on computer simulations

Nicola Orsini

Background: Global calls to rethink higher education have recently become more frequent and urgent as gaps in quality education have become more apparent when higher education shifted online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of discipline, quality education needs to be inclusive, interactive, and multimodal. The Covid-19 pandemic has further spotlighted quality education for public health students.

In particular, it has highlighted the need to innovate education in biostatistics regarding complex health mechanisms, such as interaction effects. Traditionally, these have been based on very abstract estimates and have required students to draw inference about unknown parameters.

Aim: We piloted and evaluated a teaching strategy based on simulation that tackled the problem of learning interaction effects in the opposite direction, from data generating mechanism to empirical data. Method. Master and doctoral students in public health and epidemiology were invited to a three-hour long online workshop on interaction effects. A total of 85 people attended out of which 53 filled out an evaluation. We proposed six step-by-step activities, from visualizing an interaction effect to finding out samples leading to erroneous inference.

The pedagogical strategy purposefully a) considered the students previous experience, knowledge and motivations, b) promoted interactivity and c) aimed to be as multimodal as possible given the practical limitations of time and tools used.

Results: Most (89 %) of the respondents reported that the proposed activities helped them to learn interaction better. An analysis of free-text explanations indicated that learning activities focusing on interaction effects in this way was useful to gain a deeper understanding of both the meaning of statistical models and their interpretation.

Conclusion: Based on this pilot study, we conclude a simulation-based approach that focuses on interactivity and multimodal techniques, seems to be a promising way of promoting deep learning of statistical reasoning and more humble interpretations of empirical results in answering health related questions involving interaction effects.

15:00 - 15:30 Coffee break

15.30 - 17.00

Moderator: Per Palmgren

A practical guide to data analysis in general literature reviews

Anna Jervaeus

Background/problem: The general literature review is a synthesis and analysis of published research on a relevant clinical issue, and is a common format for academic theses at the bachelor’s and master’s levels in nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, public health and related fields. We, as teachers have discovered that students lack a structured guide to the actual analysis that a general literature review requires.

This guide seeks to describe a systematic method of data analysis appropriate for undergraduate theses, where the data consists of the results from available published research. Although the methods described here are usable by any researchers conducting a general literature review, our work is addressed to students (and their supervisors) in the health sciences.

Aim: To deliver a step-by-step guide for analysing data for two different types of research questions appropriate for undergraduate theses.

Method: The data analysis methods described are based on basic content analysis and integrative review but modified to be applicable to analysing the results of published studies. The methods described are inductive, that is, they do not describe how to use a pre-existing model or theory to analyse data, but instead describe how to find patterns and answers in the data without preconceived theories or frameworks for analysis.

Results: We as authors guide the students step-by-step through their work with detalied and authentic examples from emperical studies including visual presentations and writing tips and this is what we would like to present at the conference. The guide is presented under two major headings: When the research question (aim) is about effect, risk, association or prevalence and When the research question (aim) is about experiences, attitudes or perceptions.

Conclusion: While there are many guides to doing literature searches and evaluating article quality, there are to our knowledge no published detailed guides of how to do the actual data analysis in such general literature reviews, particularly that are applicable to students.

Take Home Messages: A well-executed general literature review can help students, soon-to-be clinicians or experienced clinicians keep abreast of developments in the respective fields, and can be a vital step in increasing the use of evidence-based practice in healthcare, ultimately ensuring that patients get optimal, up-to-date care.

Sustainable approaches to hybrid case-teaching

Carl Savage

Background: For teachers, the pandemic necessitated explorations of digital pedagogy that many had previously been reluctant to try. As Covid-19 recedes and we return to classroom-based education, many of us have breathed a sigh of relief and abandoned the digital tools we were using, glad to finally be back in our old, familiar ways of teaching. However, our desire to quash Zoom-fatigue and to return to the familiar could come at the cost of innovative and effective ways of teaching, hinder continual development and improvement of our courses, and risk KI’s continued ability to provide flexible and tailored learning experiences that meet the demands of new generations of students.

The lessons learned about which types of digital pedagogy work well, for whom, and in what circumstances need to be distilled in order to understand what is acceptable and feasible to achieve in this peri-covid world.

Aim: The purpose of the project is to build upon the increased interest in digital pedagogy that was evident during the Covid-19 pandemic to develop, test, and evaluate approaches to case-teaching that are applicable and sustainable in a post-pandemic world.

Method: We employed an iterative, build-measure-learn approach, to the development of digital pedagogy in the context of a master’s program course that predominately has utilized case-based teaching. Due to the focus on sustainable approaches to digital pedagogy, we emphasized utilization of existing approaches to quality improvement. These included course mapping, feedback sessions, and end-of-course surveys. We established constraints on the types of technology and outside support we would use to ensure that the solutions that were developed would be within grasp of the average teacher at KI. The process involved transforming traditional case-teaching to a hybrid format that involved online preparation and hybrid classroom-based teaching. For the students’ preparation phase prior to the case discussion, gaming principles were tested to create a pull that bridged teaching and learning sessions. Feedback was used to improve prototypes in build-measure-learn cycles. 

Results: We introduced metareflective waypoints to help students explore their learning experience and identify learning strategies. The number of cases was increased as students developed familiarity with the case-teaching method and wished for a broader range of examples from which to learn from. To address this need, we developed a standardized process to transform research articles and PhD-theses into teaching cases. Our experiments with gamification made it clear that this is not something students expect. A more explicit link between teaching modules enhanced students’ grasp of the larger learning journey. Technique to support hybrid case-teaching, even when keeping to the familiar, did require practice to feel comfortable with.

Conclusion: There is a very real risk that the strides toward innovation and pedagogical improvement necessitated by the pandemic are lost in the euphoria of returning to the classroom. A hybrid approach that allows teachers to build back digital pedagogy in a sustainable manner is achievable, but requires an iterative approach and a holistic mindset to the curricular journey students take in a course.

Exploring the concept of fidelity in trauma surgical simulation

Cara Swain

Background: Training in the management of complex traumatic injuries is challenging due to the unpredictable nature of the patient population, the injuries sustained and the environment in which they occur. Learning how to manage trauma patients has traditionally been achieved with supervised, hands-on experience in an apprenticeship model, but this is not always possible, safe, or practical. Replacing real world cases with a scenario involving a human patient simulator produces a relatively risk-free environment for practice, and simulation-based medical education is commonly employed throughout surgical training.

Aim/Method: ‘High-fidelity simulation’ is a misunderstood term which is used inconsistently by learners and educators in both published literature and in practice, but is considered to be highly desirable. Using a literature review and questionnaire, the aim was to explore how the concept of fidelity is understood within healthcare professionals who participate in trauma simulation and consider the subsequent potential impact on learning.

Results: Fidelity is often reported as binary (high or low), but it is unclear how that classification is determined. There is a general understanding that the concept of ‘fidelity’ relates to realism, the extent to which the appearance, behaviour and environment of the simulation match what is being simulated. It is known to be an important contributor in allowing learners to ‘suspend disbelief’ and behave as they would in real life.

There are various types of fidelity reported in the literature including physical, functional, conceptual, and psychological and sociological, and it is likely that combinations of these contribute to an overall judgement. The model used is only one aspect of a simulated learning event, yet most respondents placed critical importance on the simulator used, how it looks and what it does, with less importance on the surrounding environment. This may be more significant within trauma simulation, where the healthcare professionals (predominantly surgeons and anaesthetists at senior levels) need to practice skills across various domains with close interaction with the model.

Conclusion: Terminological issues make it difficult to objectively compare educational research in simulation in relation to fidelity. There is a lack of defined understanding in the literature, but a consensus among simulation participants. Fidelity should be considered as a multi-dimensional spectrum with different domains more relevant or important to certain professions and levels of learners.

Learner experience of simulation promotes engagement and impacts on knowledge and skill acquisition and retention. Understanding who the learners are along with their expectations and goals is critically important in simulation design and the delivery of educational interventions.

Group work with a specific focus on learning activities and examinations on campus and in combination with digital solutions

Anna Brorsson

Background: Group work is an establish pedagogical form within the occupational therapy program, but both students and teachers experience that there are challenges with this form. Students have expressed in course evaluations that there are too many groups works in the program.

Moreover, several learning objectives are examined in the form of group presentations at seminars. A group work is no longer always a learning activity with a focus on exploration, collaboration and discussion but also a form for examination. In this pedagogical project the focus is on the group works in the first course in the programme "Grundläggande arbetsterapi och aktivitetsvetenskap" 15 hp.

Aim: The aim of the project is to develop group work with a specific focus on learning activities and examinations on campus and in combination with digital solutions and how progression can be developed in a course.


  • In what way can the pedagogical form of group work (learning activities and examinations) be developed in various parts of the course on campus and with digital solution to promote learning?
  • How can successful group works be carried out with digital tools?
  • How can a progression regarding group work on campus and digitally be designed from simple to complex levels?

Method and preliminary result: A Design Thinking process has been used as a method.

Phase 1: Empatize, in this phase the focus was on creating an understanding of the users’ real needs and behaviours, but also about the culture. In this phase, students have been involved in different projects related to group work. They have investigated how group work can be facilitated digitally and on campus and what kind of problems students experience. All teachers at the division of occupational therapy have been involved in different seminars. The ABC method has been used to map the course design. A literature review has also been done.

Phase 2: Define, insights and conclusions were made based on phase 1 and the problem area was defined by doing an analysis of all data from phase one. Examples of problem areas identified. How is group work defined and what theoretical ground do we use? How can group work be developed in progression. Aspects that have emerged to facilitate group work are e.g professional approach, verbal and non-verbal interaction, group dynamics and group contract and conflict management. What theoretical frame of reference do we use when using reflection in group work? How can group work be used in by using different learning activities? How can group work be examined in a legal and secure manner? Now we are in phase 3, Ideate where we are creating solutions for the problem areas and how to redesign the course. This phase is planned to be finished to the autumn 2022.

Conclusion: An important factor for finding sustainable solutions is to work together with students, teachers and UoL and that teachers were given time to work on the project through the pedagogical funding we received from KU.