Interactive Nursing Education Using Second Life as the 3-D Environment

Constance Johnson, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Project descriptionTeaching in the Second Life

The purpose of this project is to establish and pilot a Second Life (SL) learning environment for faculty and students in the Duke School of Nursing (DUSON). Constance Johnson and her colleagues have explored student perceptions of learning using three different environments, and built a virtual classroom structure on the DUSON’s parcel on a Duke SL Island. In addition to building a virtual classroom they have also identified, collated, and developed orientation resources and procedures that could be provided to students and faculty for DUSON in the SL community. They develop and test with the students policies and procedures that could serve as suggested ground rules for DUSON to adopt in their SL learning activities, to ensure that students are able to focus on the educational components of the activities, rather than the novelty of the application and the overwhelming social aspects of SL.

The short-term outcomes of this project are development of a DUSON infrastructure for faculty and student participation in SL, and the assistance of students from at least two different nursing specialty areas and programs with evaluation and tailoring of the infrastructure.

The expected long-term outcomes of this project are facilitated participation of faculty and students from across DUSON, the University, and DUSON’s practice, service, and educational partners, in innovative, 3D learning activities.

Students’ positive feedback and comments in a recent evaluation have proved value of virtual environments: promotes distance education, allows simulation of scenarios, real time interaction between students and professor, interactive with 3 spaces, and self-directed study.  Future directions: to build autopsy rooms and simulation labs.

Watch the YouTube video below to see Dr. Johnson and her students use of virtual world Second Life as a teaching and learning tool:

Project start date: 6/16/2008
Funding awarded: $2,000

Additional information

There is a short overview on the Duke School of Nursing’s website about the work Constance Johnson is doing in Second Life.