The York College Center for Interdisciplinary Health Practice (YCCIHP) was started by then Acting Dean of Health Sciences, Dana Fusco, and is currently under the leadership of Professor Joanne Lavin in Nursing. The committee is composed of faculty from Psychology, Education Technology, Nursing, the Physician’s Assistant Program, and the Occupational Therapy Program. The objective of the committee is to provide students in the health practices with opportunities for learning that would be too costly or risky to perform in the clinic. There is a vast literature supporting the efficacy and efficiency of simulations in education for the health practices. We have adopted Second Life as a platform to generate several life-like scenarios for students to explore. In these scenarios, students interact with each other and domain experts to solve a problem. In our first scenario, occupational therapy students explore the home of a patient with limited mobility. While the scenario was designed with occupational therapy students in mind, each scenario is flexible enough to be of value to other disciplines in the health sciences. A second scenario exposed students to the complications of working with an alcoholic patient suffering from delirium tremens. Scenarios in Second Life are presented in a social networking platform, which allows students to comment on the scenarios. Students and domain experts can also role-play various characters in real time to learn the lesson from different perspectives. Several conference abstracts and three formal studies of the learning environment have been published:
- Bai, X., Duncan, R.O., Horowitz, B., Glodstein, S., Graffeo, J., Lavin, J. (2012). The added value of 3D simulations in healthcare education. International Journal of Nursing Education. [IN PRESS]
- Bai, X., Lavin, J., Duncan, R.O. (2012). Are we there yet? Lessons learned through promoting 3D learning in higher education. The International Journal of Learning. 18(6):1-14.
- Bai, X., Horowitz, B., Duncan, R.O., Glodstein, S., Graffeo, J., Lavin, J. (2011) Designing Case Studies through 3D Simulations for the Health Professions. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2011 (pp. 907-910). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
- Horowitz, B., Bai, X., Duncan, R.O., Glodstein, S., Graffeo, J., Lavin, J. (2012). “Infusing Gerontology across Academic Disciplines through Virtual and Service Learning Pedagogies.” Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s 38th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference.