Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
WKS4: Working with Simulated Participants online without putting them "on the line" (Brem, Beate Gabriele; Hitzblech, Tanja)
Thursday, 01/Sept/2022:
2:30pm - 5:00pm

Location: CHUV auditorium Auguste Tissot

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Working with Simulated Participants online without putting them "on the line"

Beate Gabriele Brem, Tanja Hitzblech

Institute for Medical Education, University of Bern, Switzerland


The effects of being a simulated participant (SP) on an individual are still a subject of research, but it is clear that the effects include benefits and risks (1). To minimize any risk for the physical and mental health of SPs, the Standards of Best Practice (SOBP) of the Association for SP educators (ASPE) (2) formulate guidelines for safe work practices.

When the Covid-19 pandemic started, from one day to the other face-to-face teaching was stopped and most institutions shifted their teaching to web-based formats. These online solutions also included online work with SPs (communication trainings, OSCEs, etc.).

Now, more than two years later, some of these formats that started as “work-around” seem to be here to stay. But what about the SPs’ safety? Do we have sufficient guidelines to guarantee a safe work environment for SPs online? Where are the benefits and where are the risks of online work with SPs?


This workshop intends to kindle a discussion about guidelines and standards for working with SPs online.

Target audience

Anyone interested in working with SPs online


The workshop’s goal is to enable an exchange of SP educators’ experiences from various backgrounds. During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to exchange good practices and possible unintended harm for the work with SPs online. It will not be possible to develop definite guidelines, but ideas and recommendations can be collected as one step in generating future guidelines.

Welcome & Introduction (plenary,10 minutes)

Looking back – experiences made during Covid or at other occasions (small group discussion, 10 minutes)

Presentation & collection of experiences incl. expiriences of the presenters, analysis of advantages & drawbacks (plenary, 30 minutes)

Standards of Best Practice in working with SPs (ppt-presentation, 10 minutes)

Break (15 minutes)

Relate SOBPs to online work (small group discussion, 10 minutes)

Presentation & discussion (plenary, 30 minutes)

Compiling ideas & recommendations for working with SPs online (plenary, 30 minutes)

Summary/Take home message/good-bye (ppt-presentation, 5 minutes)

1. Plaksin JN, J.; Kundrod, S.; Zabar, S.; Kalet, A.; Altshuler, L. . The Benefits and Risks of Being a Standardized Patient: A Narrative Review of the Literature. Patient. 2016;9:15 - 25.

2. Lewis KL, Bohnert CA, Gammon WL, Holzer H, Lyman L, Smith C, et al. The Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) Standards of Best Practice (SOBP). Adv Simul (Lond). 2017;2:10.

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