Pulse!!: Designing Medical Learning in Virtual Reality

Pulse!!: Designing Medical Learning in Virtual Reality

Claudia L. McDonald, Jan Cannon-Bowers, Clint Bowers
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-782-9.ch023
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Pulse!! The Virtual Clinical Learning Lab is designed to transfer and further develop state-of-the-art game design and technology to create subject matter for teaching critical thinking skills in experiential medical learning in virtual reality. The underlying design principles of Pulse!! include real-time feedback, repetitive practice, controlled environment, individualized learning, defined outcomes and educational validity. Pulse!! development incorporated evaluation issues early in the design cycle. The Pulse!! evaluation process ensures that the learning platform meets standards as rigorous as that required by military simulation systems and educational accrediting bodies. The Pulse!! method of case and technology development indicates that virtual-world educational platforms must be not only user-friendly, visually effective, interactively immersive and fluid but also procedurally rooted in curriculum, rich in readily-accessible information and cognizant of actual practice in the real world.
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Pulse!! originated as a research project to determine whether sophisticated medical learning could be achieved in virtual space created by cutting-edge videogame technologies. The platform must prove itself valid and reliable according to the highest academic standards; otherwise, the medical profession will justifiably bypass virtual-world technologies as viable media for experiential learning in critical thinking and differential diagnosis.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Usability: A quality inherent in user-centered design of a virtual-reality platform determined by quantitative and qualitative data.

Virtual-world technologies: An array of computer programming conventions that compile mathematical algorithms with images to create the likeness of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface.

Virtual Reality: Three-dimensional space created by various virtual-world computer technologies that is navigable by users as though they were actually within that space.

User-Centered Design: A concept of platform design virtual space by which users participate in the design process in a variety of ways to ensure four basic principles, (1) ease of determining what actions are possible at any moment, (2) clarity of the visible workings of the system

Curricula: Established, accredited educational content to be delivered experientially in virtual reality by which yardstick the effectiveness of a learning platform must be evaluated

(3) clarity of the current state of the system: (4) clarity of mappings of intention and action, e.g., visible information and interpretation of the system state

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