Profile in Simulation: Lawrence Grierson

Profile in Simulation: Lawrence Grierson
August 28, 2013

Simulationist Lawrence Grierson is a Professor at McMaster University’s Departments of Family Medicine, Kinesiology, and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Lawrence is also a course developer and instructor for SIM-one’s new Simulation Research Primer course.

Grierson obtained his PhD from McMaster in 2008. His formal education is in human motor behaviour, a sub-discipline of Kinesiology concerned with the processes that underpin the control of movements and the acquisition of skill expertise.

As a simulation researcher, Grierson is attempting to more accurately characterize fidelity.

“Fidelity is too often defined according to the degree to which the simulation looks like the actual performance and at the expense of the task to be learned,” said Grierson. “I take a human factors approach to re-conceptualize fidelity, which considers the sensory, perceptual, social and cognitive aspects of a skill to- be-learned as the central features in defining a modality's faithfulness to the actual performance context.”

Grierson’s research, “The role of collaborative interactivity in the observational practice of clinical skills”, conducted in 2012 with Maureen Barry, Bill Kapralos, Heather Carnahan and Adam Dubrowski, highlights how simulation-based education techniques can be extended—by way of video-based observational modalities and educational networking technologies—beyond the traditional confines of the simulation laboratory.

“These findings are instrumental in showing how simulation-based practice can be manipulated and optimized so as to provide appropriate learning interventions for students at various stages along the continuum from novice to expert.”

Grierson believes simulation-based education provides health professional learners the opportunity to learn in a safe environment.

“The opportunity to produce errors and become aware of their potential consequences is fundamental to the development of stable, efficient and safe internal action representations.”

In the future, Grierson wants to continue growing his program of research to further integrate the evidence generated from theoretically-driven motor control and learning research to the optimization of health professions precision skill education.

“This work will aim to highlight how practice specificity and variability are not mutually-exclusive learning concepts, how process and outcome feedback can have different impacts on learning trajectories, and how level-of-learner accommodations are essential to a curriculum's success.”

About SIM-one

SIM-one—Ontario Simulation Network—is a not-for-profit organization that connects the simulation community, facilities, resources and services across the Province of Ontario. SIM-one advocates for and advances simulated learning in health professions education for the benefit of patient care and patient safety. Fully supported by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC), SIM-one’s vision is to further position Ontario as the global leader in healthcare simulation.

For more information on SIM-one, including information on our news releases, please contact John Gilson at [email protected].