Claudia L. McDonald (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, USA), Jan Cannon-Bowers (University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA) and Clint Bowers (University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-561-2.ch808
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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.

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