This was a small scale qualitative evaluation of the lecturers’ (researchers’) and students’ experience of using Second Life in order to learn decision-making. Students assumed Avatars (a student nurse image in Second Life) and accessed the Clinical Simulation Laboratory within Second Life following changing into nursing uniform. They then worked through a scenario based activity. Over a six week period each student carried out a communication and visual assessment of six patients in one ward based area (one session for each student). At the end of the session the student was asked to prioritise the care for these patients and explain their decisions. The students then recorded their experiences during a one-to-one semi-structured interview and focus group.
The research team acted as the students’ mentors via their individual Avatars and provided feedback and guidance to the student Avatar.
A pragmatic approach was taken that included elements of:
• Case based learning: six realistic, interactive scenarios were developed at the appropriate level for the students
• Discovery learning: students interacted with others within the clinical simulation environment providing opportunities for incidental learning
• Reflective Learning: students used interview to record activities and reflect on their relevance to nursing theory and practice