The extended framework of the COSIMA research unit
The theoretical framework of the research unit is represented by the extended framework. The framework model, available for download below, contains the graphical illustration of the central components and intercorrelations. The starting point of the framework and the focus of interest of the research unit in the first and second phase are simulation-based learning environments for the fostering of diagnostic competencies and the activities that are performed while learning in these simulations. In all subprojects of the research unit, simulation-based learning environments are used to foster diagnostic competencies. Here, as well as in the meta-analytical integration of corresponding studies, the common definition is used. Diagnostic competencies are theoretically conceptualized and empirically assessed in a variety of ways in the research literature. In the research unit, three central approaches are distinguished and taken into account in the recording process:
1. the knowledge-based approach via the assessment of the underlying professional knowledge base,
2. the approach via processes in diagnosing (here defined as diagnostic activities), and
3. access via quality criteria (accuracy and efficiency) of the diagnosis made.
The focus of the research group in the second phase remains the fostering of diagnostic competencies through instructional support approaches in simulation-based learning environments. A major focus continues to be on process-based support through various forms of scaffolding. Individual learning prerequisites on the one hand and the context of the simulated learning environment on the other hand are assumed to be moderating factors of the effect of such support measures. The effect of the measures is mediated by the processes during learning whereby the focus remains on diagnostic activities of the learners. In addition, variables of situational experience are included in the second funding phase as moderating components of the interrelationships assumed in the framework. According to current findings, the effects of simulation-based learning environments as well as specific instructional support measures should depend to a considerable extent on individual differences between learners. In the second phase of the project, a further common focus of all subprojects will therefore be on the adaptation of scaffolding to the different and possibly changing learning prerequisites of the learners. A distinction will be made between macro-adaptive (based on aspects measured before the intervention) and micro-adaptive (based on aspects measured several times during the intervention) measures.