Workshop Goals

Upon completion of the Virtual Worlds (VW) workshop, the participant will be (better) able to:

  • Design virtual worlds for learning, using a common gaming platform such as Forterra Systems, Inc’s OLIVE, Second Life or Half-Life 2
  • Conduct a virtual worlds teaching/learning session, including the debrief or AAR, with students who are geographically dispersed
  • Assess learning in virtual worlds learning environments

  • Evaluate the virtual world learning experience (both user satisfaction and “success” in terms of learning achievement, immersion, etc.)


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This is the sixth in a series of workshops on “Simulation-Based Learning in Medicine” sponsored by TATRC and SUMMIT.   It was led by the SUMMIT Research team, other experienced leaders in simulation-based learning from the Stanford community, as well as our professional gaming colleagues from Forterra Systems, Inc. 


Designing Case-based Learning for Virtual Worlds

August 24-25, 2006 at Stanford

The SUMMIT research team and the gaming professionals from Forterra Systems, Inc. explored the future of online learning, using the power of MORGs or multiplayer online role-playing games.

picturesWith this exciting new simulation technology it is possible for trainees to practice the professional behavior of healthcare workers as they interact with colleagues and patient-actors over the Internet, in real time. At SUMMIT, we have experimented with a variety of virtual worlds, or learning environments, including the hospital ER and OR, and other settings for training healthcare professionals. In our research, we have found this approach to be especially well suited for helping individuals learn to work together as a team. Because the interaction is between real people, playing the role of a character in a virtual setting, it is possible to practice effective communication skills, leadership and delegation skills, and even procedural skills, such as learning to conduct CPR.
Some of the Virtual Worlds we have created and will demonstrate include:

  • Hospital ED (Emergency Department) for interns to practice team leadership skills in response to trauma emergency cases;

  • Scene of a bomb explosion at a bank in "Peninsula City" for EMTs to practice triage in response to a Chemical Biological Radioactive Nuclear Explosive Environment (CBRNE) incident;

  • Hospital ED for residents and nurses to practice triage in response to a mass casualty incident;

  • A high school classroom for students to practice a quick response to a medical emergency requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).