International Journal of Healthcare Simulation
Adi Health+Wellness
128 Efficacy of a Virtual Mock Trial for Inter-Professional Learning
DOI 10.54531/YQWE8954, Volume: 1, Issue: Supplement 1, Pages: A11-A12
Article Type: In Practice, Article History

Table of Contents





A medical negligence trial can be stressful for all involved and may be the first time in a courtroom for many health professionals. To provide students with the opportunity to learn from, with and about each other, the Mock Trial was established as an annual collaborative learning event between a local law school and our university-affiliated Office for IPE (Inter-professional Education). In 2021, Mock Trial was conducted virtually to continue high-quality IPE throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


The aims of the study were to establish the efficacy of translation of a large-scale inter-professional malpractice Mock Trial simulation to the virtual platform and to determine whether this will be a useful modality once social distancing restrictions ease.


The virtual simulation was structured using the brief-simulation-debrief model. Students participated as jury members via Zoom. A simulated courtroom held 11 participants of the trial (one judge, four law students [two defence, two prosecutions], five witnesses and one administrator) and was broadcast in real time to students. The learners first heard the case (opening statements, Plaintiff’s case, Defendant’s case, closing statements and jury instructions) before moving to IP jury break-out rooms with facilitator supervision to deliberate a verdict. Verdicts were delivered in the main room, followed by a debriefing. All students completed a pre-/post-questionnaire, including the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey (ICCAS) and evaluation of simulation methodology, Mock Trial structure/content and overall impression. To assess efficacy, we compared student evaluations from 2018 and 2019 (in-person events) to those from 2021 (virtual).


A total of 179 learners participated in three in-person Mock Trials; 143 attended the virtual offering. The virtual event included learners from 19 professions from 4 institutions and 12 facilitators. Evaluations assessed IPEC competencies. For the virtual Mock Trial, learners (96%) strongly agreed/agreed that ‘this activity demonstrated the value of IP collaborative practice to prevent malpractice lawsuits’ and 97% felt that this was a valuable educational activity. Representative qualitative data include: ‘as a law student it was interesting to see what laypeople take away from evidence…’, ‘watching the process provided insight into the litigation process’, ‘the most valuable experience is hearing other people’s perspective’.

Implications for practice:

Large-scale virtual simulation events such as a Mock Trial are feasible and provide a valuable inter-professional learning experience. Student feedback demonstrates that gaining insight from different perspectives is a meaningful part of the experience. Incorporation of large-scale simulation events post-pandemic can increase accessibility to foster IP learning on a wider scale.

Dickinson, Ward, Minarcin, Trudeau, and Neill: 128 Efficacy of a Virtual Mock Trial for Inter-Professional Learning



Interprofessional Education Collaborative. Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: 2016 update. Washington, DC: Interprofessional Education Collaborative. Efficacy of a Virtual Mock Trial for Inter-Professional Learning&author=&keyword=&subject=In Practice,