So what is going on at GCU islands. Well, we are continuing to work with Indiana University in the use of virtual worlds for healthcare simulations (more on this soon). The University of Richmond will be back in a few months with Dr Joe Essid (Sl:Ignatius Onomatopoeia) and we continue to use VWs for healthcare simulation and cyberpsychology. We hope to be able to tell you more about a Social Work simulation soon.
As for my PhD I have now finished my first phase analysis (thank you so much to those who gave up their time to take part, you know who you are!). I am in the writing up stage of the findings and hope to be able to share these early next year. Thanks also to all the people who allowed me to leave a notecard giver on their island to aid recruitment.
Mayo Clinic health info day
My Colleague in the School of Health and Life Sciences Dr Jane Guiller has been using Second Life on a honours-level module in Cyberpsychology since 2009. Jane explains here how she uses Second life in the module.
“Cyberpsychology can be defined as the study of human behaviour and mental processes in the context of human-technology interaction. This is a rapidly growing sub-area of the discipline and this module was the first of its kind to be offered at a Scottish university and one of only a handful in the UK.
Use of Second Life is essential to the learning and teaching strategy used on this blended learning module as it allows student to experience many of the phenomena that we are discussing first hand. Students start off in by exploring the resources in the Saltire Centre in Second Life. There is a notable positive reaction to the Saltire Centre in Second Life. For most, it is a ‘strange new world’ and being able to navigate their way through a location that is familiar to them in real-life helps with their orientation. We also use this to discuss the phenomenology of the internet and reflect on how our experience of the Saltire Centre offline, influences our experience of it online.
Students go through the process of avatar creation near the start of the trimester, when we do our lectures on identity and self-presentation online. Following the lectures on Health Issues on the Internet and ELearning, we visit a number of relevant sources in Second Life including the Virtual Hallucinations Project, Autism Awareness Center and Virtual Ability Island: Disability Awareness and Support. We also visit other Departments of Psychology in Second Life, such as the problem-based learning resources at the University of Derby.
Group of students waiting to explore the Virtual Hallucinations Project in Second Life
We now have our very own private Cyberpsychology area on the GCU island where the students and I meet for synchronous online seminars, in addition to our asynchronous online seminars and ‘Adventures in Second Life’ blog in GCU Learn”.
If you want to contact Jane leave a comment or email her on J.Gullier@gcu.ac.uk
I am reaching the end of my two year action research project. However, I will be presenting the findings at the 10th Annual International Nursing Simulation/Learning Resource Centers Conference in Orlando in June. Interestingly I just met the Lecturer last week in Second Life who is presenting after me. I will also be presenting a poster on the evaluation of volunteers’ experiences of allowing nurses to take their real life health history in SL.
Andy is still working with Jan on the x-ray project which is coming along nicely.
I have also started a VW HealthEd International Community of Practice. So if you are in the health field or a learning technologist working with health practitioners and wish to join please IM me in SL: Kali Pizzaro