Coventry University simulation expert honoured for her outstanding work in higher education

Picture of Natasha Taylor speaking against a blurred background

Dr Natasha Taylor

University news

Monday 22 August 2022

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A Coventry academic’s innovative use of simulation in higher education has seen her awarded with a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship.

Dr Natasha Taylor, from Coventry University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health has spearheaded the development of simulation to create realistic learning scenarios for students at Coventry University.

This Fellowship recognises a thirty-plus year career in healthcare and specifically, in healthcare education.

It acknowledges Natasha’s significant work to increase accessibility, which has seen her create and innovate on several simulation projects including the university’s development of Virtual Simulated Nursing Placements, helping to train medical staff across the world.

These placements, which allow learners to experience different healthcare scenarios through the use of digital and virtual technology, have been tailored for health services, not only in the UK but also in places such as Uganda and Indonesia.

During the pandemic, this technology was used to help healthcare students prepare for a career in health systems (including critical care networks), whose placements had been cut short by COVID-19.

There’s evidence to show that students get so much more out of a learning experience when they are fully immersed in a situation, and I believe this non-traditional approach offers enormous benefits.

We work to make our simulations as realistic as possible, but they are designed to be accessed over a range of devices, you don’t need the latest VR headset or technology to experience them. This is crucial to enabling as many people as possible to participate.

Dr Natasha Taylor

Coventry University is home the UK’s first standalone 5G network and Natasha has played a leading role in using 5G to improve the student experience.

She was an expert speaker at this year’s TEDx event at Coventry University, speaking on the subject of healthcare simulation.

However, this award isn’t just for technological advancements, prior to the pandemic, Natasha created CovSim, large, cross-university, face-to-face simulation events to which all enrolled Coventry University students were invited.

Although there was a brief hiatus due to COVID-19, these are expected to start again very soon.

National Teaching Fellowships celebrate and recognise individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education.

They are awarded by Advance HE, a member-led, sector-owned charity that works with institutions and higher education across the world to improve higher education for staff, students and society. 

It is an honour to be recognised for my work and be awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. Without the vision and foresight of Coventry University, I would not have been able to achieve this, and I’d like to thank my simulation team colleagues, my school colleagues and Martin Jenkins, Coventry University’s Head of Academic Development (who supported this application).

Dr Natasha Taylor