I've been working on the development of the STEPS minor since its inception around January 2023. I initially was responsible for coordinating a SIM program working group through which 3 activities in the initial stakeholder and context exploration phases of the project were planned: course mapping, a needs assessment, and assessments of fit between program and educational contexts. To date, I have carried out the mapping exercises to identify potential STEPS courses and started a literature review to determine the most suitable theoretical underpinnings for the curriculum. Moving forward, I will be conducting semi-structured interviews with university leadership, FHSc program directors, instructors, and students to assess the program’s barriers, facilitators, and fit.
At STEPS-program, we are dedicated to providing high-quality learning opportunities for adults seeking to expand their knowledge and skills in various fields. This project will be guided by two research questions: What is the most suitable educational design theory to support a program that prepares health science students to become simulation assistants? What are the structures (such as courses and experiences) to support the program’s curriculum? One of the key institutional constraints identified in the exploratory stages is that the STEPS program must be built on existing course offerings, with an addition of three core courses. Preliminary literature searches suggest that the infusion approach is the most suitable educational design approach to employ with such constraints. This approach will be applied by infusing the competencies underpinning the simulation assistants' competencies identified earlier within already existing courses within the BHSc program at Ontario Tech University. To accomplish this, I will conduct a series of course mapping exercises and develop experiential learning opportunities through interviews with program directors (n=5), individual course instructors (n=15-20), and institutional partners (n=10) to identify courses, course elements, and experiential learning opportunities to be integrated into the STEPS program. In addition, the STEPS program will include three core courses and a capstone experience.
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