Using A Virtual Birth Unit To Teach Midwifery Students


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This is part of a workshop I ran with Dr Deborah Davis on Second Life and midwifery education at the Australian College of Midwives conference, Adelaide, September 2009. The presentation is about the work we have been doing with the virtual birthing unit in Second Life as part of the Second Life Education New Zealand project:

NB: I have to clarify that the BUD research was carried out by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), not the University of Sydney

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  • I have left my presentation as 'all rights reserved' for the time being because the evaluation report isn't out yet but I will change it to CC if you think I should.

    As for multi-platform information/educational design ...another research project in the making?!
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  • Nice presentation Sarah.

    A minor error at 13 minutes. The copyright is CC by which means anyone can use, with attribution, and NOT required to use the same license. Such a license would be CC by SA. Last time I was involved, I recommended not to use the SA restriction. On that note, your presentation has used imagery and ideas from the project, and has republished them here with an All Rights Reserved license. That's ok, but I know you wouldn't have meant that to be. Its in your settings.

    The thing I really like about the project is that it uses a number of platforms. Most famously perhaps is its use of SL, but pleasing to see you reference the project blog, the Youtube info, the Wikieducator info, the Facebook communication channel, and now this Slideshare. To my mind, this is the more significant aspect of the project in terms of realising that no platform is as effective on its own, as it is or can be along with other platforms. Did we have any instrument to collect data on whether or not this aided access to information and learning? I suppose, given that the evidence values the interactive activities (in SL I assume) that we were not able to design multi platform access to such a thing, so the answer might be no.
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  • Introduction – me & deb Round (numbers depending) – who are you, what’s your interest in SL, what do you want find out about today? deb Introduction to SL – What is SL sarah video Slenz – how it came about – deb’s interest in BUD My interest in social networking/media in education Slenz team etc - sarah Phase 1 – deb Phase 2 – me Play video first Evaluation so far, which includes what we thought (practical tips for people), & what students thought sarah Where to from here deb Questions/discussion
  • Sarah & deb
  • sarah What is second life? A 3D, real-time, fully interactive, online digital world Multi User Virtual Environment (MUVE) Not a game Open source Imagined, created and owned by its residents An extremely rich virtual environment “ MUVE is currently used as the term to describe a persistent 3D graphical environment accessed over the internet which allows a large number of concurrent users, represented by their avatars to interact synchronously”
  • SLENZ – Deb – interest in BUD Sarah – interest in social networking
  • Story of slenz Midwifery & foundation studies – funded by NZ TEC Multiple institutions – virtual team Midwifery project – OP & CPIT 2 phases Just finishing evaluation now Complete end of Dec.
  • sarah
  • Lighting and privacy and thermal environment
  • Description Immersive role play 5 scenes from early labour (phone call) to first hour after birth of baby 1 midwife & 1 woman Script for woman Antenatal/labour notes for midwife Woman gives midwife feedback – based on NZCOM standards review process Midwife writes up notes – deposits them in filing cabinet & lecturer gives feedback Midwife carries out self-assessment
  • Simulate birth from midwife and woman’s perspectives Practice assessment, decision making, midwifery actions and documentation Authentic – Designed using New Zealand professional Standards of Practice Based on ‘real life’ midwifery scenarios Safe Interactive Social - fun Doesn’t replace clinical experience Encourages self-reflection and feedback from woman Open development Creative Commons license
  • Positive Midwifery students were very impressed with the birthing suite which they regarded as a near ideal environment They appreciated the opportunity to role play without the stress of having to perform in real life situations in front of peers or tutors very useful The material on record keeping was greatly appreciated. They had been encouraged to keep records, but had not been shown exactly how to do it. Foundation students found the sessions on interview skills to be invaluable. One student had not appreciated that one requires specific skills in going for interview.
  • Several students spoke of the time taken in getting and dressing an avatar, and in orientating to SL There were technical issues - relating to firewalls, soundcards, unclear specifications required for networked access etc Some students unexpectedly lost all their clothes from their avatars Students were concerned about security - on occasions strange avatars turned up in the midwifery area Students working form home noticed an unanticipated gobbling up of broadband allowances - making use of SL potentially expensive
  • Feedback for further consideration The midwifery students would appreciate more scenarios dealing e.g. with difficult births Just walking round the suite looking at stuff soon got boring for first year students. The scenario material was seen as of most value to first year students Some students would like more hands on experience - e.g. a virtual birthing mannequin maybe manipulated with a game console...
  • Lecturer feedback Motivation – value to the lecturer Far more authentic & immersive than simulation in a classroom Time constraints Overcome attitudes and beliefs about SL Game, no relevance to midwifery education Concerns about security Concerns about body image
  • A few tips from our experience as designers & project implementation Allow twice as much time for development & implementation as you think you’ll need As education designer you may need to immerse yourself, getting experience of what can be achieved in SL, how to design role play etc Design activities to be social & FUN, not just serious midwifery learning Student benefit most from social learning, not looking round empty buildings Keep things as simple as possible Have a comprehensive orientation program Needs a champion who will support students & educators & work through issues of access etc Open environment – to encourage national & international collaboration Join growing community of educators using SL, not just in midwifery
  • Using A Virtual Birth Unit To Teach Midwifery Students

    1. 1. Using a virtual birth unit to teach students about normal birth Sarah Stewart Education and Social Media Consultant [email_address] Dr Deborah Davis Associate Professor, Midwifery Practice Development and Research University of Technology Sydney and South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service
    2. 2. Acknowledge <ul><li>New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission </li></ul>
    3. 4. Petal Stransky Aastra Apfelbaum
    4. 6. <ul><li>University of Michigan's Health Sciences Libraries: Second Life and Public Health </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    5. 8. Project Team <ul><li>Terry Neal </li></ul><ul><li>Joint Project Leader, consultant Blended Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Clare Atkins </li></ul><ul><li>Joint Project Leader, Senior Lecturer in IT, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Aaron Griffiths </li></ul><ul><li>Lead developer, virtual world developer, Director, F/Xual Education Services </li></ul><ul><li>Sarah Stewart </li></ul><ul><li>Lead educator, Midwife, consultant </li></ul><ul><li>John Waugh </li></ul><ul><li>Blog compiler/writer, journalist </li></ul><ul><li>Todd Cochrane </li></ul><ul><li>Developer, computer technologist Wellington Institute of Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Leigh Blackall </li></ul><ul><li>Learning designer, educational developer Otago Polytechnic </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Ben Salt </li></ul><ul><li>Research and evaluation, social researcher </li></ul>
    6. 10. http://
    7. 11. Te Wāhi Whānau: The Birth Place
    8. 12. Birth Unit Design Research Team – University of Sydney <ul><li>Maralyn Foureur </li></ul><ul><li>Professor of Midwifery, North Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service, NSW </li></ul><ul><li>Caroline Homer </li></ul><ul><li>Professor of Midwifery, Centre for Midwifery, Child & Family Health. University of Technology Sydney (UTS) </li></ul><ul><li>Nicky Leap </li></ul><ul><li>Professor of Midwifery Practice Development and Research, South East Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service, NSW. </li></ul><ul><li>Ian Forbes </li></ul><ul><li>Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Design Architecture and Building, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) </li></ul><ul><li>Deborah Davis </li></ul><ul><li>Associate Professor Midwifery Practice Development and Research, South East Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service, NSW. </li></ul>
    9. 28. Situated learning
    10. 30. http://
    11. 31. http:// =60560546147
    12. 32. Normal Birth Scenario <ul><li>SLENZ: Te Wāhi Whānau - The Birth Place in Second Life </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    13. 34. Education design principles
    14. 35. Student feedback (preliminary)
    15. 38. Working with educators
    16. 39. Education design/project implementation
    17. 40. Your imagination is the final frontier