NR 512 Discussion Reflections on Second Life Experiences
NR 512 Discussion Reflections on Second Life Experiences
A virtual learning environment (VLE) is an online system that allows teachers to share educational materials with their students (Verkuyl et. al., 2017). For a student to be able to access VLE is an advantage for learners and teachers. For instance, when VLE is integrated into course assignments, it encourages communication between teachers and the students, links to outside sources, resource hubs, access to embedded content, and allow teachers to create virtual space to represent their classroom.
Virtual worlds help students to bridge the gap between knowledge and application by providing them with opportunities to use simulation in a safe environment, and by allowing individuals to practice skills, try out new ideas, and learn from their mistakes without disadvantage (Chow, 2016). The great thing about VLE is that the learning space is always available, which is perfect for students that require more flexible schedules. One of the benefits that I enjoy about VLE is that it enable students to engage in personalized education and allow them to work at their own pace.
VLE creates an engaging learning environment that keep student’s attention and promote interaction between students, well as teachers. At my organization VLE is utilized for BLS, ACLS, and PALS. The same methodology used by Instructional Design Model (ADDIE) is composed into video from simulation scenarios. These videos along with links, text, and questions are used to train health professionals. According to Demian and Morrice (2015), a well-maintained VLE should enable students of all learning styles to receive the best possible education, in a way that they may not in an exclusively lecture-based environment which tends to be focused on auditory only.
Chow M. (2016). Determinants of presence in 3D virtual worlds: A structural equation modelling analysis. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 32(1), 1-14
Demian, P. and Morrice, J. (2015). The use of virtual learning environments and their impact on academic performance. Journal Engineering Education 7(1), 11-19. doi:10.11120/ened.2012.07010011
Verkuyl, M., Romaniuk, D., Atack, L., & Mastrilli, P. (2017). Virtual gamin simulation for nursing education: An experiment. Clinical Simulation in Nursing 13(5), 238-244. doi: 10.1016/j.ecns.2017.02.004
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I agree that virtual learning environments are very useful online education platforms. They are engaging extensions of written or oral lessons. As you point out, VLE based classes contain many useful tools that help nurses learn methodology and participate in real world situations. I also think VLE learning platforms are convenient for students because they can learn from the comfort of their homes or offices. Similar to learning on the go. I can also pull up past lessons or interactions to review them further if I feel weak on a certain topic. I will never discount the value of a traditional education, but I would prefer all of my classes be supplemented this way because I enjoy participating while I learn, it is easier for me to grasp concepts this way. Nurses have to learn so much, but there are not enough teachers or learning spaces to accommodate the global nursing student population. VLE’s help nurses all over the world learn and collaborate. Research studies about e-learning have concluded that infusing both e-learning and traditional teaching methods—which is known as blended learning—produce better results than teaching lessons without technology (De Bruyckere, Kirschner, and Kirschner, 2016). Also, VLE based courses offer a number of “concrete, scientifically based” pieces of advice that are adaptable to all learning levels and environments.
De Bruyckere, P., Kirschner, P. A., & Hulshof, C. D. (2016). Technology in Education. Retrieved from https://www.aft.org/ae/spring2016/debruyckere-kirschner-and-hulshofLinks to an external site.
You mentions some greats benefits to the virtual learning environment that I think is essential to today’s learner that benefits from both visual and auditory stimulation. Students need various learning environment to assist with memory recall, critical thinking, and confidence building that assist in the development of enhance clinical decision making. As you mentioned in your post; According to Demain and Morrice (2015), a well-maintained VLE should enable students of All learning styles to receive the best possible education, in a way that they may not in an exclusively lecture- based environment which tend to use auditory base style of teaching. Students learning style differ from individual to individual and assessing the learning style of the class and incorporating a variety of learning tools into classroom environment is essential to successful learning, professional productivity, understanding, and outcomes. As health care professionals and future leaders within the profession of nursing it is important to understand that learning styles of students are different and in order to successfully meet the needs of all students; nurse educators must understand the importance technology and VLE into nursing education.
Demain, P. and Morrice, J. (2015). The use of virtual learning environments and their impact on academic performance. Journal Engineering Education 7(1), 11-19. doi:10.11120/ened.2012.07010011
At this point, we have not used Second Life a whole lot. I used it in NR-501 and at first, I was very confused. The Scavenger Hunt helped walk me through understanding the process Second Life provides to us. Second Life, to me, is a new form of technology. Technology has been more and more incorporated into education and nursing over the past several years. Second Life allows us to push ourselves past boundaries in a virtual world first to prepare us for boundaries in the real world. Although we have not used it very much, I see Second Life as a benefit to our courses in several ways.
The first, allowing us to see a complex situation in a controlled environment. These types of situations enhance our learning and prepare us for real life patient situations (Wood et al., 2017).
The second, Second Life teaches us an enhanced spatial knowledge representation. This means that we are learning other ways to interact with humans, except in the form of virtual humans (Wood et al., 2017).
The third, a VLE provides us with greater opportunities for experiential learning. In our scenarios we see in a VLE we can experiment with our professional judgement. We can utilize trial and error to better keep our real patients safe. We are using these opportunities so that we won’t cause harm or depict safety on our real patients (Wood et al., 2017).
The fourth, Second Life increases our motivation and our engagement skills. We are become more and more motivated as we “do the right thing.” As we successfully provide excellent patient care in the virtual world, we are increasing our chances to provide excellent patient care in the real world. By engaging in Second Life we are (Wood et al., 2017).
Virtual Learning Environments are very beneficial to any profession that involves caring for someone else and keeping them safe. I like that Second Life allows us to practice our professional judgement skills and precisely determine what works and what doesn’t work.
Wood, D., & Gregory, S. (2017). The Affordances of Virtual Worlds as Authentic, Culturally Diverse Learning Environments. Authentic Virtual World Education, 1-7. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-6382-4_1
Some resources or strategies that can be considered to support learners in a virtual learning environment include:
1) Discussing with learners’ principles, overviews, guidelines, and benchmarks for the virtual environment (Sloan, 2009).
These include resources such as Scavenger Hunts that we at Chamberlain are assigned. It also may include allowing students to seek peer assistance, discuss potential problems, and participate in case studies.
This first resource/strategy is good for the learner because it allows them to use cognitive and social presences. Cognitive presence means being able to construct or confirm meanings through discussions (which we are participating in now). A social presence means establishing a community of learning by presenting items as “real life.” Virtual learning environments contains this social presence because it is interactive, effective, and cohesive (Sloan, 2009).
2) Virtual learning environments are organized into three categories: planning/developing, teaching in the form of action, and student assessments and data evaluation (Sloan, 2009).
This strategy significantly influences the learning environment and development of the learner enormously. These three categories are often selected specifically for the course to help enhance the learning of that subject. Teaching in the form of action is extremely important for any learning environment. But, for virtual learning environments it is a resource that allows learners to post stimulating questions regarding the specific scenario, allows learners to brainstorm answers to questions, compare ideas and results, and provides opportunities for students to critique and reflect upon outcomes (Sloan, 2009).
With tools and resources available, learners can easily navigate a virtual learning environment, identify learning goals, develop instructional objectives, identify content, create clear instructions, and prepare learning supports (Sloan, 2009).
Sloan, C. (2009). Best Practices in Online Teaching Strategies. Hanover Research Counsel , 1-35.
Learning in the virtual interactive environment can be difficult. Students have only been utilizing Second Life for a short period of time. This virtual environment has advantages and disadvantages. While some students are computer savvy, there are others that are not as savvy. With that being said, the virtual learning environment should be conducive to everyone that has to participate in it. I must admit, I had to get to know the system, but I navigate through it very well. Like some other students mentioned, technical issues were and are the biggest challenges that are faced when operating this system. I experienced being ejected out of Second Life and having to contact a technician that luckily could help me resolve the issues occurring.
Interactive virtual learning environments can be a useful tool in educating patients, students and peers alike. Virtual learning in areas of family health, disaster preparedness and home safety can be very helpful to those who like this type of environment. For instance, some students were chosen to enter e-learning as a supplement to clinical experiences and they preferred the clinical experiences (Schaffer, Tiffany, Kantack, & Anderson, 2016). The rationale that was given was to supplement actual clinical experiences and to utilize this virtual learning environment when clinical experiences are difficult to obtain at a facility. On the job experiences, I believe, cannot be replaced by virtual interactive worlds. I think a combination of the two are sufficient, so a person can get the best of both worlds per say. Then, students as well as other can take these experiences and learn how to educate themselves and others that care for patients’ conditions. Assurance must be given that technological challenges are being addressed and that scenarios are realistic and engage students through interactive collaboration.
Schaffer, M. A., Tiffany, J. M., Kantack, K., & Anderson, L. J. (2016). Second Life virtual learning in public health nursing. Journal of Nursing Education, 55(9), 536-540.
I have to agree that the Virtual learning environment can be very challenging and seem to be a disadvantage for individuals who are not computer savvy. I have shied away for years with anything to do with computer technology and it has definitely hindered my professional growth. Computers in learning, healthcare, and everyday life provide a means for effective communication, distance learning, and building of confidence when both learner and the educator understands the benefits to it’s implementation into practice. Per week three reading, computers in nursing also hold its own technology that contribute to the development of knowledge because it ensures that all nurses share the same understanding or meaning of a given concept, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Virtual learning in the nursing profession provide a way for education to be tailored to improve critical thinking, allow for quick clinical judgement to safe the life of a patient in second life without any true risk to patient outcomes. With the use of VLE and computers to assist with nursing education and patient outcomes the key disadvantage or barrier to its effectiveness is the inability of nurses to explain nurse their own barriers to computer technology and work to improve them. Today, central pedagogical theories influenced by Vygotsky, emphasis the importance of successful learning which is established when knowledge is socially constructed and that teaching as well as learning processes involve social interaction, communication, negotiating, and sharing which is effectively done in the VLE (Gulz, 2004).
Gulz, Agneta. (2004). Benefits of Virtual Characters in Computer Based Learner Environments: Claims and Evidence. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 14(1), 313-334.
As I read your post I felt the same way in regards to the navigation of the Avatar. I actually mentioned to my husband that my nine year old could probably come and do this assignment navigation more efficiently than me. Perhaps, my anxiety was enhanced because it is a graded assignment and I tended to work on the assignment after the hours the assistance was available. As a millennial, I can recall the minor things that was introduced to us in school and as it advanced I felt pretty comfortable operating Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point. Now I can see how my parents felt when technology was introduced to them. I feel slightly “prehistoric” with the VLE, however, I think it is important to keep an open mind about it so we can allow it to be beneficial. Research was conducted on some Oncology nurses in Brazil to evaluate the effectiveness of VLE by way of Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning – Environment (MOODLE) in the distant learning setting. The results indicated that VLE was beneficial to enhancing the learning skills needed in the Oncology setting. Barriers that were noted included age, year of experience and self-engagement (das Gracas and De Domenico, 2016).
das Graças Silva Matsubara, M., & De Domenico, E. L. (2016). Virtual Learning Environment in Continuing Education for Nursing in Oncology: An Experimental Study. Journal of Cancer Education: The Official Journal of The American Association for Cancer Education, 31(4), 804-810. doi:10.1007/s13187-015-0889-x