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Virtual ability gha_5-13-10


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presentation at Virtual Ability, May 13, 2010

presentation at Virtual Ability, May 13, 2010

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  • 1. The Garden of Healthy Aging: Project Development and Evaluation Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L (SL: Zsuzsa Tomsen) Kathryn Koszuba, OTS (SL: Angelica Tremmor), Alyssa Sariano (SL: Bodi McIntyre) Jefferson School of Health Professions, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • 2. What is the Garden of Healthy Aging?
    • An interactive exhibit on healthy aging focused on strategies for maintaining and improving health as one grows older
      • 8 main topics:
        • Stress management
        • Spirituality and religious practices
        • Living with diabetes
        • Healthy heart
        • Healthy caregiving
        • Healthy activity
        • Social support
  • 3. What is the purpose?
    • Provide education and immersive experience for residents of Second Life
    • Provide training to occupational therapy students on health communications and interactive design principles for use in virtual environments
    • Evaluate the utility of using virtual worlds for interactive health communication on healthy aging, for possible use as a preventive health program for adults >50
  • 4. What is the basis of the exhibit?
    • Derived from Rowe and Kahn’s (1999) famous work, Successful Aging
    • Each exhibit based on current research and provides information and links to actual studies through wiki,
    • Uses interactive design principles for virtual environments (The TechVirtual)
    • Each exhibit idea developed by graduate students in Occupational Therapy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and reviewed by experts
      • Built by project director and graduate assistants in the Department of Occupational Therapy at TJU
  • 5. Concept and Links to Components of Successful/ Healthy Aging Figure derived from: Rowe & Kahn, 1999, p. 39 Maintain high cognitive and physical function Successful/ healthy aging Engage/Participate in life Avoid disease Avoid worsening of chronic disease
    • Living with diabetes
    • Heart health
    • Care for the caregiver
    • Healthy activity
    • Social support
    • Spirituality & religious practices
    • Healthy activity
    • Future of healthy aging
    • How does your garden grow? (neuroplasticity)
  • 6. Collaborative exhibit development timeline
    • OT Center at Jefferson launched in June 2007
    • Graduate students in Occupational Therapy include those doing final projects and Graduate Assistants (Fall 2007)
    • Program evaluation conducted Fall 2008
      • Included initial exhibit on healthy aging
    • Funded for expansion of Healthy Aging exhibit April 2009
    • Exhibits built at new location at Fatima’s Cherished
    • Study conducted March 2010
  • 7. IRB (Ethics Board) Process
    • Initial program evaluation for the OT Center at Jefferson in Second Life ( Journal of Virtual Worlds Research , 2009) was approved as exempt study in Fall 2008
    • Healthy Aging exhibit expansion and pilot with older adult participants was approved as addendum September 2009, conducted March 2010
  • 8.
    • Pilot with 18 participants, aged 50-69
        • Went through of the 8 main stations of the exhibit
        • Took a picture of self at each station and emailed to researcher (built in photo-email)
        • Took survey (knowledge and response to exhibit)
        • Participated in an optional interview (optional)
    Healthy Aging Study Caregiving exhibit was considered “most useful” Will report results in a subsequent presentation
  • 9. Collaborative Process
    • Continual process of peer/student, faculty, and consultant feedback
    • Weekly meetings to brainstorm exhibits and further develop resources (including wiki that accompanies Healthy Aging exhibits)
    • Synthesis of expert feedback to refine exhibits
    Brainstorming best way to represent main exhibit concept
  • 10. Graduate Assistant Role in the Healthy Aging Garden
    • Conceptualize and build prizes for each exhibit.
    • Attend and assist visitors at the Open Houses.
    • Track visitor comments and feedback.
    • Investigate SL and RL resources related to healthy aging.
  • 11. Student Experience
    • Great time!
    • Challenging thinking of appropriate prizes for each exhibit.
    • Building prizes and contributing ideas about the layout of the exhibit
    • Wonderful opportunity to learn about and explore RL and SL resources for healthy aging
    • Enjoyable to help visitors navigate the Healthy Aging Garden.
  • 12. Virtual World Capabilities for Exhibit Development
    • Interactive
    • Quizzes
    • Objects that illustrate concepts
    • Objects that give information
    • Events &
    • discussions (extensive networking opportunities)
    • Informational
    • Posters
    • Slide shows
    • Models
    • Videos
    • Web displays
  • 13. Poster with web link, table with objects that provide info in local chat, quiz, model that shows insert for diabetic shoe when clicked
  • 14.
    • Places to visit within Second Life or groups to join
    • Wiki with summaries of peer-reviewed research and information from organizations (such as American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Association)
    • All are available within virtual world via kiosks for each type of resource (Caregiving, Diabetes)
  • 15. Unique Affordances of Virtual Worlds for Collaborative Project Development
    • Scheduling is less problematic and collaborators are not limited by geography. Sense of presence is similar to real world
    • Focus on doing and interaction
    Faculty and graduate student discuss student-initiated project
  • 16. Current Challenges of Virtual Worlds for Promoting Healthy Aging
    • Learning curve for:
      • graduate students and consultants involved in collaboration
      • Exhibit participants
    • Ideas for interaction can be complex to implement
    • Only a small portion of target population uses virtual worlds
    • At present, not optimally accessible for older adult audience but efforts are in progress to improve this
  • 17. Graduate Students and Virtual Worlds: Project Based Learning
    • Key Opportunities
      • Learn to design educational experiences based on research and incorporating interactivity and language that eliminates jargon and is at 8 th grade reading level
      • Synthesize research and practical application for concrete purpose
      • Fully utilize 21 st century technology (virtual world, wiki, blog)
      • Participate in and learn from expert and peer review process
    Jefferson School of Health Professions Virtual World Team
  • 18.
    • Second Life website,
    • Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, (July-Aug has program evaluation of the OT Center at Jefferson in Second Life)
    • Project Blog,
    • Online Video
      • Video of the OT Center at Jefferson in Second Life,
      • Graduate Student Perspectives on Second Life Project,
    • Complete Reference List, Healthy Aging Project Email: [email_address]
    • Second Life Contact: IM Zsuzsa Tomsen
    Resources and Additional Project Information