Collaborative Healthcare: Interprofessional Practice, Education and Evaluation (JCIPE)


Simulations are increasingly implemented as core teaching strategies in healthcare education. Along with the growth and proliferation of many forms of simulation, new venues for implementation also have emerged, including virtual world (VW) role play simulations (Jarmon, Traphagan, Mayrath, & Trevedi, 2009; Rogers, 2010; Walker & Rockinson-Szapkiw, 2009). These VW simulations enable interprofessional teams of students to learn and test their knowledge and skills in real time, within settings that can model a wide range of institutional and community practice environments.

VW simulations provide many of the same benefits that have been described in campus-based simulations, such as practice within realistic environments for care (Lateef, 2009); immersive environments that facilitate active learning (Cant and Cooper, 2009); the ability to practice skills and receive immediate feedback (Doolen, Giddings, Johnson, Guizado de Nathan, & Badia, 2014); and opportunities for experiential learning with complex patients that eliminates risk of harm to patients (Guise, Chamber, and Valimaki, 2011). An additional benefit of VW simulations is that the VW enables community building among participants in remote locations without the need to be physically present with each other in the same geographic location (De Freitas, Rebolledo‐Mendez, Liarokapis, Magoulas, & Poulovassilis, 2010; Warburton, 2009). VW simulations may also provide opportunities for student learning in situations or environments that would be too costly to set up or impractical to implement because of their complexity (McDonald, Gregory, Farley, Harlim, Sim, & Newman, 2014). Examples include simulation of the multi-step staff handover approaches and procedures to teach nursing staff in an intensive care unit and 3-D immersion in a realistic home environment that teaches home environmental assessment focused on identifying the many hazards that can endanger an elderly person at home (Ghanbarzadeh, Ghapanchi, Blumenstein, & Talaei-Khoei, 2014).