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Friday, June 27, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect in Virtual World

Public health officials from the California Department of Health Services have created a massive online virtual training program. Researchers from the University of California-Davis Health System re-created a 3-D model of the California Exposition and State Fair in Second Life and conducted the training within that environment.

Here is how it worked.
Virtual patients flowed through the clinic, while staff members role played. The program can be adjusted to simulate different numbers of patients. For instance, it could be ramped up from 100 to 150 patients per hour. Dr. Peter Yellowlees (principal investigator and a professor of psychiatry at UC-Davis) said his team also built quiz tools to assess how well people have grasped what they've learned.

He said he believes the project was a success because they made the virtual environment look reasonably like the real thing. Also, feedback from state employees indicated the program worked quite well. Nevertheless, California has yet to expand its use. "That was 18 months ago and they haven't taken us up on it yet," he added. "They are trying to see how it fits into their long-term goals."

Check out the article Virtual Worlds Help Public Safety Officials Practice for Real-Life Threats

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Anonymous said...

You have inspired me to finally go in world, and this article you mentioned from the state of California is exciting!

~Jenise |

Unknown said...

Hello Dr. Kapp,
This is Anthony Anoia and I will be taking the SL class starting today. This article was very interesting regarding using SL to conduct online training on a larger scale. I have little knowledge on the workings and capacity of what SL can offer. It is obvious that instruction can be designed in the SL realm. It seems that instruction is limitless using something like SL. Instruction will seemingly be able to reach more people while using a more interactive environment. I'm excited to find out what SL has to offer.

jennifer said...

I think the idea of training medical students in a virtual hospital is a great idea. Finding volunteers to be "virtual" patients would be so much easier than finding "live" volunteers. The patients could be given a list of "symptoms" which they would explain to the student. I think it would be great practice for diagnosing different illnesses. I'm new to SL, but I imagine that doctors might even be able to practice difficult surgeries on virtual patients. It would be a great way to gain experience in the OR before diving into the operation.

Unknown said...

This is a type of trainig that I would enjoy taking. Not only is it a fun way to apply technology to learning but it is a more effecient way to both teach and learn (more students at a time and little or no travel costs)!

-Alexis L.