Currently viewing the tag: "VR"

Simulation has become an integral part of teaching and learning pedagogy within the Health Faculty at UON.  In order to operationalise the faculty’s simulation strategy, a lead for simulation was recruited in September 2022. Roshini Khatri, Head of Health Professions, explains why:

“Simulation is used regularly in Healthcare as a learning and teaching technique to create situations or environments to allow persons/students to experience a demonstration of real-life scenarios for the purpose of practice and learning in a safe and nurturing environment. We have chosen to embed simulation as part of our curriculum to ensure that we are using contemporary and innovative activities to support the healthcare professionals of the future.”

The new Academic Lead for Simulation, Kate Ewing, is passionate about how the use of simulation and virtual reality scenarios can create more immersive, engaging, and more productive learning outcomes. Kate explains that simulation ranges from a technical skill, for example, where students might be learning to catheterise, to a more immersive scenario which is designed to give students the opportunity, in a safe and controlled environment, to experience a clinical situation.

(Click the image or text link below to launch the video in a new tab)

Image: Academic Lead for Simulation, Kate Ewing.
Video: Interview with Kate Ewing and Hannah Cannon

The challenge Kate has, is scenarios need to be written and carefully constructed with learning outcomes at the forefront. Kate admits this can create a ‘heavy workload’ for academic staff, so her aim is to see how these scenarios can be utilised across programmes so they fulfil a range of learning outcomes; allowing students to work inter-professionally with each other, rather than having a single use.

Kate is aware of the limitations of this technology when utilised by small groups or individuals at a time. However, Kate’s strategy provides a “shift in thinking” which encompasses all of the students in the learning process. In her learning situations, the students become observers of the process taking place. Kate comments: “Evidence says, if you debrief the situation and the learning in the right way, observers gain as much as the participants. The simulation is seen as an excuse for a debrief – the debrief is where the rich learning takes place”.

Image: Hannah Cannon carries out a debrief session with her nursing students.

Kate highlights how simulations in a learning environment are very different to clinical settings. “Students aren’t just testing out their skills, as they might do in a clinical environment, rather, they are developing skills of communication and those human factors which require a more intricate debrief strategy”. Although Virtual Reality (VR) scenarios contain published debriefs, Kate feels strongly these need customising so they can be mapped closely to the learning outcomes of individual programmes at UON.

Hannah Cannon, Practice Lead for Nursing Associates, has been working with students on their clinical skills using a VR platform in a whole class situation. Hannah said that in her experience, students seem to feel “really safe” when engaging with scenarios in this way. Her students can play through a scenario safely without the need to worry about the consequences of their decisionmaking. Hannah believes by having a group of students present, it allows for a more productive and wider discussion about patient care. As a team, the students can work together to make decisions about the patient’s treatment.

Image: Hannah Cannon Senior Lecturer in Practice Development -Nursing

Hannah emphasises how the use of a debrief, which is usually twice as long as the scenario, permits her students to have more effective discussions about the scenario and to reflect on their decision-making. Hannah feels this style of immersive learning allows her students to better grasp their learning outcomes by having the opportunities to see their decision-making play out and then by reflecting on the end result.  She goes on to say that it, “heightens student’s self-awareness both professionally and personally,” which she feels is fundamental in nursing care.

Although immersive and engaging, Kate understands simulations are not an “easy answer” to fulfilling learning outcomes at UON, due to their time-consuming nature. But Kate is passionate that, through her role, she will be able to help create a strategy that supports staff to not only fulfill learning outcomes in a more productive way within their own programme, but to enable collaborative scenario-based learning to be adopted across programmes in a more cohesive and versatile way.

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Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are quickly gaining traction at the University as effective technologies for teaching and learning.

With VR in particular, it is tempting to imagine a world in which students fit their headsets for a complete University experience. However, as these four films show the reality is more interesting at UON with academics exploring how these technologies can be used in a wide range of creative ways in the classroom.

The first film explores how in 2022-23 Senior Lecturer in Marketing Kardi Somerfield worked with the Police Fire and Commissioners office on a live VR brief to create a virtual reality scenario to promote safer student experiences in Northampton.

(Click the images or text links below to launch the videos in a new tab)

Digital Marketing students demonstrating Safer Northampton VR project at UON open day.
Image: Digital Marketing students demonstrate Safer Northampton VR project at UON open day.
Video: Interview with Kardi Somerfield – Safer Northampton VR Project Duration: 3.55

Using a RiVR Link system the Second-year Digital Marketing students conceptualised, planned, recorded, edited, and released their unique VR experience with accompanying branding including flyers, T-shirts, and signage.

The project was launched to widespread acclaim and media attention, providing the students with highly valuable digital skills. It is an exemplar of how VR technologies can be used creatively as content creation tools in subject areas that are non-technical.

The second film looks at how the subject area of Health is using VR and XR technologies. Sims Lead Kate Ewing and Nursing Senior Lecturer Hannah Cannon discuss how VR software is helping to develop nursing students’ critical skills through the use of interactive hospital scenarios. The simulation tools are used in combination with debriefing discussions that provide rich learning experiences matching the tutor’s individual learning outcomes.

Senior Lecturer in Nursing Hannah Cannon demonstrates the use of XR technologies
Image: Senior Lecturer in Nursing Hannah Cannon demonstrates the use of XR technologies.
Video: Interview with Kate Ewing and Hannah Cannon on Developing Health Simulations. Duration: 7.41

Our next video case study focuses on how Senior Lecturer in Games Design David Nicholls works with his students to create prototype VR games. He discusses how VR and XR are areas that are both very popular with students and have huge potential for their future employability. So much so, that he is currently collaborating on the development of VR projects across multiple subject areas within the University.

VR development and experiences in Games Design
Image: VR development and experiences in Games Design
Video: Interview with David Nicholls on use of VR in Games Design. Duration: 2.17

And finally, the last film in this series looks at how the University’s CENTRE FOR ACTIVE DIGITAL EDUCATION (CADE) has launched a number of Special Interests Groups (SIGs) for new technologies such as XR (including MR, VR and AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Distance Learning (DL) and Game-Based Learning (GBL).

Head of Learning Rob Howe discusses the strategic approach to VR at UON.
Image: Head of Learning Rob Howe discusses the strategic approach to VR at UON.
Video: Interview with Rob Howe on CADE and VR special interest groups. Duration 2.42

Head of Learning Technology Rob Howe explains that CADE is a platform for creative discussion on the teaching and learning opportunities afforded by these extended reality technologies, and how by taking a strategic approach to the development of XR and working collaboratively more students and staff will benefit from our expanding expertise in this area.

For more details on the CENTRE FOR ACTIVE DIGITAL EDUCATION (CADE) and to join the discussions please see: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/research/research-institutes-and-centres/centre-for-active-digital-education-cade/

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Presentation at: Teaching and supporting a digital future: UoN Showcase 4th February 2022

Kardi Somerfield Senior Lecturer & Course Leader BA Advertising & Digital Marketing, FBL.

Live client project: Building and promoting a Virtual Reality experience for the Campus Security/Police as part of Safer Nights Out Campaign. Using RiVR Classroom in a Box. The promotional video is also available to view.

The recording of the event is available to view

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Rob Lambert, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for BA Games Design, FAST.

Presentation at: Teaching and supporting a digital future: UoN Showcase 4th February 2022

A dive into the experience of producing a commercial learning product:
3D Gamified training simulation tool for the National Fire Chiefs Council which will educate UK business owners around the laws, protocols and proper conduct relating to fire safety within their premises.
⦁ Getting the project going.
⦁ How we hope to measure the impact of the learning tool.
⦁ How we first intended to gamify learning, how we now intend to gamify learning.
⦁ Production management: Challenges, Milestones and progress, Working with a team of Graduates (925 Studios).
⦁ What may be next?

The recording of the event is available to view

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