Abstract for: Debriefing as a System: Enhancing Reflection in Experiential Learning

Experiential learning settings using simulations offer promising opportunities to help improve performance for trainees, but the quality of the debriefing is of paramount importance. Using the domain of medical simulation as motivation, this paper proposes a theory of debriefing as a system comprising the trainees, the debriefers, and the psychological context or "container" they co-create through conversation and behavior. The paper uses causal loop diagrams to conceptualize the key feedbacks in the debriefing system, presents a system dynamics model , and uses simulation analysis to explore key dynamics, including the co-evolution of context and learning. The results show that the effectiveness of debriefing is rooted in critical interactions among the psychological context, the debriefer, and the trainees.