Thursday, June 9, 2022

Showing and Telling Virtual Reality in Health Education

Greetings from the ANU Medical School, where Dr Jane Frost, Associate Professor in Nursing, at University of Canberra, is talking about the use of extended reality, for teaching medical students. Jane is gently introducing us to how VR & AR can be used. She started with a view of a typical lecture theater, captured with a headset camera. This then switched to a simulated hospital ward, particularity useful for students who can't get to a real one, or one of the training wards with dummies the universities have.

Jane explained the difference between VR & AR, with AR overlaying an image on the wearers perspective, whereas VR provides everything. She also mentioned that use of VR requires safety protocol, so the students do not fall over objects they can't see. As well as training, Jane pointed out AR has potential to assist in everyday work.

It was good to see Dr Frost did not spend too long on simulated classrooms, as I don't think these are much use. We want students in a workplace, simulated or real, not a classroom (simulated or real). One compelling example was of a student looking at a simulated patient in a real hospital ward, responding as if they were real. Another was very disturbing, with a simulated patient screaming continuously (the lesson for students was that the noisy patient doesn't necessarily get priority). 

The event was chaired by Katie Freund, Manager of Technology-Enhanced Learning and Teaching (TELT), at ANU Medical School.

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