Health educators in Australia are challenged by the need to provide clinically relevant education to large numbers of students across a wide range of specialties. This situation is compounded by changed student demographics, new technologies in both the workplace and university, and decreased access to clinical placement opportunities for students. This article describes an innovative response addressing nurse education priorities and implemented in the School of Nursing at Flinders University South Australia, involving the development of CaseWorld, a prototype virtual case-based learning environment. CaseWorld implementation was unique because large-scale innovation occurred as part of routine curriculum development. This was challenging as there was limited opportunity for prototype evaluation before student use, thus necessitating a flexible implementation process. The outcome was the development of scripted unfolding cases that provide students with low-fidelity simulation enhanced by multimedia. Students engage with cases based on real patient experiences, which are modified to protect confidentiality. These authentic cases provide the basis for the development of critical-thinking and decision-making skills as students problem solve issues and identify priorities for nursing care, explain the pathophysiology, and respond to simulated patient complaints. CaseWorld was modified in response to evaluation data from surveys and focus groups, and the revised version is discussed in terms of its implementation in nursing and planned use across multiple health sciences disciplines.
- Authentic assessment
- Case-based learning •Computer simulation
- Evidence-based nursing practice
- Problem-based learning