Case study: Experiential learning intensives

Student profile:
Students enrolled:

Health Sciences
HLSC628 Simulation Design and Delivery
Graduate certificate in healthcare simulation education
Dr Steve Guinea
mature age, teachers at tafes, health science academics, technicians.
small enrolments

In this case study Dr Steve Guinea discusses the blended learning delivery of simulation programs in the context of healthcare education.


  • Experiential learning
  • Integration of online learning and intensives
  • Tools for interactivity

Hear about Dr Steve Guinea’s experience.

ACU Case study: Experiential learning intensives (HLSC628)
Many thanks to the Faculty of Law and Business for the use of their Pop-up Studio equipment to record this interview.

Length: 7 mins.

Unit design

The unit’s design was influenced by the work of David Boud in the area of experience based learning.

Experience based learning

EBL is based on a set of assumptions about learning from experience.

These have been identified by Boud, Cohen and Walker (1993) as:

  • experience is the foundation of, and the stimulus for, learning
  • learners actively construct their own experience
  • learning is a holistic process
  • learning is socially and culturally constructed
  • learning is influenced by the socio-emotional context in which it occurs.

Cited in (Andresen, Boud and Cohen, 1995, p.1).

Online learning strategies

Strategies were put in place to familarise students to online learning. This included the creation of a comprehensive orientation module covering:

  • Module learning outcomes
  • Navigating the unit
  • Strategies for online learning
  • Introductory activity
  • Introduction to some of the tools of the unit
  • Webinar access info
  • Overview of the unit





Synchronous online webinar 1 hour weekly  

Asynchronous online modules


Including readings, content, videos, reflection, collaborative activities

Face to face intensive workshop

2 days

Day 1 - relationship building, revision of concepts covered in previous weeks, summarising those.

Day 2 - peer assessment.


Assessment task


Weighting (%)


Needs analysis

1500 words


Students consider an issue within their own work setting where simulation-based learning might be of benefit. They develop a needs analysis framework and then implement the strategy. This forms the basis of assessment two.

Designing a simulation plan

2500 words


Students develop a simulation learning plan.

Online collaboration

1000 words


Students collaborate with a fellow students in the development of an

evaluation strategy for a simulation program.

Delivery of simulation 20 mins Hurdle Delivered at the workshop

Scroll through these pages to see a recreated example of the Orientation Module in this unit.


This is a list of some of the major tools used in this unit.




Adobe Connect

The webinars are run using Adobe Connect.

It’s recommended to encourage students not to use mobile devices for connecting, as these can create echo effects.

See LEO Adobe Connect guide.

See also Lynda's "Adobe Connect Essential Training"


Steve uploaded videos using Kaltura.

See the eLearning 101 webinar, Embedding Kaltura and YouTube videos in your units

See LEO Kaltura guide


Is a virtual whiteboard that allows students to easily add content. These were embedded in activities within modules.


Here is an informal introduction to Padlet, Collecting Student Ideas Using Padlet (Paperless classroom 2013).


Thinklink is a tool that allows you to create images with embedded pop-up links/text.

LEO Lesson LEO Lesson was used at the tool to create online modules. See LEO guide for Lesson activities
Technologies related to simulation practice

Such as:

  • Simulated practice environments;
  • Manikins;
  • Monitors;
  • Recording systems.

Here is a video about simulation at ACU.

ACU | Healthcare Simulation Education (2014) Length: 1 mins.


These are examples of the kinds of support the academic staff building this unit drew on.

  • eLearning advisors
  • Faculty educational designer

Student feedback

  • "Mixed mode of delivery, allowed for more interactions among participants and lecturer."
  • "The small interactive group in our drop in session was really good, instead of everything being online only."
  • "Flexible mode of study which allowed for feedback and interactions among lecturer and participants."
  • "Weekly webinars/ conference calls. Fantastic for group interaction and discussion."
  • "(Students learnt) creative ways to deliver content (from HLSC628 for their own job role)"

Lessons learned

  • consider the impression you want your unit to portray, the look and feel
  • set aside a lot of time to put the unit together
  • consider engaging with an educational designer
  • consider what can be delivered online and what is face-to-face, how to best use that time

Next time

Steve would like to focus on the following for future iterations of the unit:

  • Wants to integrate more experiential activities
  • More two-way communication
  • Gamification and interaction
  • More videos that demonstrate key concepts

Further reading


Andresen, L David, B and Cohen, R 1995. Experience based learning: Contemporary Issues. Chapter published in Foley, G. (Ed.). Understanding Adult Education and Training. Second Edition. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 225-239.

Boud, D. (2010). Locating immersive experience in experiential learning. In N. Jackson (Ed.), Learning to be professional through a higher education e-book. Retrieved from