This journal article, by Stoneham & Feltham from 2009, examines the use of actor-based simulation for clinical skills development. It was originally published in the Journal of Critical and Reflective Education.
Clinical simulations in a skills laboratory setting are used to explore role-play as a context for experiential and reflective learning. The impact on the quality of learning by using simulated patients who are skilled in both acting and facilitating is explored. A sample of dialogue provides rich data for analysing this environment as a context for situated learning. Furthermore, we use reflective dialogue between tutor and simulated patient to debate evidence of scaffolding the integration of new knowledge and skills for effective practice. Although clinical communication skills are the focus of learning in this example, the benefits may be generalised to a range of contexts where the learning outcomes include the development of more effective behaviours.