The integrated use of simulation and voting with Personal Response Systems

Craig Brown, Jerry Morse, Ian Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Institutions worldwide are struggling to meet the increased demand for simulation-based medical education. Although the benefits of Personal Response Systems (PRS) voting have been known for a while, this is the first study to evaluate their use in conjunction with simulated scenarios to teach medical decision-making. We therefore aim to ascertain whether this joint approach is as effective as ‘case-based discussion’ at learning, and if it is a novel, alternative and acceptable means of instructional delivery

The combination of simulation and PRS voting is an effective means of delivering simulation to the masses

This ethically approved pilot study was a prospective randomised educational intervention trial in which consenting final-year medical students were randomised to one of two groups. The control group received standard lecture case-based discussions along with the intervention group, receiving a lecture with simulation and interactive PRS voting. Both groups received four scenarios over a period of 4 weeks. Assessment was by single best answer multiple-choice questions. In the final week participants completed a five-point Likert-scale evaluation questionnaire.

Thirty-five students participated in the study. There was no statistical difference in the mean scores between the groups. Students in the intervention group reported that they would like to use this method of educational instruction again (strongly agree n = 18/18), that it was enjoyable (n = 17/18), that it encouraged student–teacher interaction and was an extremely satisfactory means of learning.

The combination of simulation and PRS voting is an effective means of delivering simulation to the masses without having to deliver masses of simulation. Further studies should evaluate the cost benefits of ‘simulation for the masses’ in this respect, and promote this model of delivery further in interprofessional health care teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-336
Number of pages5
JournalThe Clinical Teacher
Issue number5
Early online date15 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2016



  • simulation versus didactic teaching
  • simulation
  • personalised response system
  • PRS
  • classroom response system
  • decision making
  • medical education

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