Through Simulation

Touchstone Institutes’ Simulation Program provides support to our programs by recruiting and training individuals to simulate real-life scenarios. During the 2018-19 year, 935 standardized clients were
recruited and trained for 19 exam days, and provided support for our training and learning programs. In all, simulated clients were engaged in over 12,000 encounters.
The simulation unit has embarked on large scale recruitment of French-speaking individuals to simulate patient scenarios for bilingual exams. Bilingual training methodologies have been developed to support these exams, and our new standardized clients.
The simulation program also provides services to several external partners or stakeholders including HealthForceOntario and CARE for Nurses. Members of the simulation unit share our expertise by presenting at various conferences throughout the year.
patient on medical bench
Exam days in 2019
Simulated clients were engaged in over 12,000 encounters
Standardized clients recruited and trained
Hands holding a touchstone booklet

SIM 360: Project overview

SIM 360° is a project focusing on the development of an experiential learning program (Communication through Simulation) targeting professional communication skills for the health care workplace. The Communication through Simulation curriculum builds on the final deliverable of Touchstone Institute’s 360° Project – A View of Communicative Competence at Work: Competency Framework for Intercultural Communication.

Rooted in Design Thinking methodology, the project began with a Discovery Phase, engaging a Working Group committee populated by five simulation experts, four IEHPs, four language and communication educators, three competency experts, and one patient advocate. The Working Group developed 15 simulated communication challenges based on experiences authentic to members of the group. Next, the Working Group moved the project into its Ideation and Experimentation phases, with particular focus on curriculum development in advance of the program piloting scheduled for February 2020.

SIM 360° is funded by the Government of Ontario.

Quality Assurance

The psychometric unit supports the assessment and learning programs at Touchstone Institute by ensuring both high quality data and validity evidence. This unit is continually looking for ways to improve assessment processes while ensuring the integrity of the outcomes. This past year we have updated the way in which OSCE stations are developed for exams. Moving from pre-set station sets we now use a committee based decision making process to plan out groupings of stations based on prior performance (ease or difficulty), now tracking how stations perform in real assessments. In one exam we have made the move from twelve stations to ten stations plus two pilot stations, which can be tested and added to the item bank for future use.

Examiner training is an essential tool which ensures the validity of results. Recently, we revised the approach to examiner training to include feedback on prior rating performance. Aligning the training more closely to the station rubrics and incorporating input from examiners. In order to reduce costs and increase accessibility for our new and returning examiners, we have begun development of online video modules to guide training. These videos are currently being beta tested and will be launched in individual major assessments over the coming year.

Medical exam room
Hands holding an ipad

Assessment Technology: UCAN

Touchstone Institute is a member of the Umbrella Consortium for Assessment Networks (UCAN). Their tEXAM and tOSCE applications have been used in 12 assessments this year and we are continuing the transfer of existing exam content to the item management system (IMS). In the past it has been a challenge for subject matter experts to create, edit, and deliver content to examination administrators, but with the implementation of UCAN’s Item Management System (IMS) we have transitioned to a much more efficient, effective and secure platform for content creation and storage.

In May of 2018 Touchstone Institute hosted a four day Technology and Assessment training workshop with UCAN partners from Germany. An interactive session was also offered to stakeholders and organizations interested in the UCAN tools.

Touchstone Institute developed an orientation video for our KCAT examination orientation. This proved to be an efficient method to deliver orientation to remote sites delivering exams with UCAN tools.

Scroll To Top