Health has got Talent 2015: Simple methods for complex learning

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This blog post is to describe the work I entered into Health has got Talent 2015. In 2014 I started using simulated on-line role plays for mental health nursing students.  The premise of the activity is that the students are given a scenario about a service user with complex needs. They are then allocated a professional role  to manage the case. The case ‘evolves’ over a period of 2 weeks. Different sets of students  are given different pieces of information and there are a number of events that they have to consider  how to react to. They are also able to communicate with ‘service user’ via email and live chat. The activity culminates in a class-room based case review meeting where the case is presented and the students are encouraged to debate the case and the best way forward for the service user. Students are then given a role debrief.

The first time the activity ran there were numerous technical problems mainly due to my own incompetence with  Moodle and a lack of consideration of potential pit-falls. Also ironing out hiccups in the story and not seeing the activity from the student perspective. The activity was evaluated and this informed it’s future roll-outs.  I have just completed it for the third time and it ran much more smoothly. Students engaged fully and was mentioned repeatedly in the module evaluations as a valuable tool for learning (although still some complaints about it not being assessed).  In 2016 now that the activity is refined and running smoothly it will be linked to the assessment and I would like to see it rolled out across fields of nursing practice and eventually the school of health sciences to truly promote inter professional practice.


  • Enhanced experience of inter-professional practice
  • Immersive simulation of practice


  • Activity not currently assessed therefore participation could be variable
  • Can be time consuming for a single lecturer to manage the flow of information

A full write up of the activity will be published in the Journal of Mental Health Nursing, Training and Education in 2016.

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