Arwenna, Petal find the light
at the end of the SL Tunnel …
“Authenticity of the scene” … inside the Birth Centre. (picture Sarah Stewart)
“The first words I heard were, ‘This is so much FUN …’
The listener was Arwenna Stardust (RL: SLENZ Project co-leader Dr Clare Atkins) and the words were from one of the midwife trainees “learning real lessons” at the Otago Polytechnic Birth Centre on the Second Life SLENZ island of Kowhai: they summed up just what learning in a virtual world should be.
Arwenna, in the blog that she doubted she would ever be able to write “many times over the last few months””, details how she was able to watch and listen in as the first of the midwifery students used the birth centre.
Her post entitled “Finally – it all comes together! Midwives and SL” is inspirational. It demonstrates again there is really light at the end of the virtual world education/training tunnel.
Coupled with lead educator Sarah Stewart’s (SL: Petal Stransky) post, “Students’ first experience of the Second Life normal birth scenario,” Arwenna’s post shows that, in Clare’s words, “this is perhaps the closest (student midwives) will get … to the ‘real’ world (for some time) and for them it seemed real but it also allowed them to make mistakes, ask for reassurance from Sarah and … to learn from her instruction and guidance.”
For her part, Sarah (pictured right) says, “They were able to engage with a scene that will face them many times as a ‘real life midwife’ … the beauty of this scenario and role play in Second Life is that students can experience the authenticity of the scene and learn from it, but are unable to do any harm to the woman. And because they have supporting visual tools and resources the role play is a lot more immersive than it would be if they were carrying out the role play in the classroom.”
But read both posts for yourself. I think you will find them worthwhile, particularly if you are feeling disheartened by the perceived difficulties with launching an education or training programme in a virtual world. There is a light at the end of the virtual tunnel.
The Midwifery Pilot, as part of the Otago Polytechnic’s School of Midwifery, is one of three pilot programmes being run by SLENZ Project, which is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission of New Zealand.
Filed under: Distance education, Education, Education in Second Life, Education in virtual worlds, Second Life, SL Medicine, SLENZ Project Tagged: | Birth Centre, Clare Atkins, Kowhai, Midwifery training, Otago Polytechnic, Sarah Stewart, School of Midwifery, SLENZ Project