Joseph Sweeney Dissertation Final Defense

The College of Education, Health and

Human Sciences

Announces the Final Examination of

Joseph Patrick Sweeney

for the degree of

Doctor of Education

May 11, 2015 at 1:00 pm

320 Ball Hall, University of Memphis

Memphis, TN


Biographical Sketch

Bachelor of Arts, English, Michigan State University

Masters of Arts, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Mississippi

Advisory Committee

Clif Mims, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, Committee chair

Deborah Lowther, Ph.D., Professor Chair, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership

Emery Trey Martindale, Ed.D. Associate Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership

Lisa Hight, Ed.D., Professor of Biology, Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences

Major Field of Study

Instruction and Curriculum Leadership

Period of Preparation: 2010 – 2015

Comprehensive Examination Passed: June, 2014




Authentic learning is rooted in the idea that learning is situated within a real-world context. The learning is then assessed through the performance of a skill or demonstration of applied knowledge (authentic assessment). Using simulation in healthcare education allows students to engage in authentic tasks, and in turn, develop the multitude of skills they need in order to be successful healthcare practitioners. While simulation is not a new concept, advancements in Human Patient Simulators (HPSs) have furthered the possibilities available for the simulation experience, and the use of HPSs continues to grow. Professional development is crucial for undergraduate faculty interested integrating simulation into the curriculum. The purpose of this research was to answer the following four research questions: What are the current faculty perceptions of simulation?, What professional development needs do faculty report concerning simulation implementation?, After participating in simulation-related faculty development, what strategies do faculty perceive as most helpful?, and What are the benefits and barriers concerning simulation-related faculty development, and how do these findings compare to findings from existing research? Data were gathered concerning faculty perceptions of simulation and faculty development, and participants completed an online training module titled Simulation Basics. After completing the training, participants were asked about their perceptions of training, along with the benefits and barriers of simulation-related training. The results of this study showed that faculty generally have a positive view of simulation, and that they prefer self-paced learning along with hands-on workshops. It was also discovered that faculty need several forms of support in order to feel comfortable enough to use simulation in their curriculum. This support is also crucial to overcoming the barriers to simulation implementation.

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