Increasing numbers of healthcare learning institutions are taking advantage of Second Life, and a wide variety of healthcare-related activity takes place in this online virtual world.
Researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada in collaboration with the University Health Network’s Centre for Innovation in Complex Care (CICC) have analysed these activities, which include creating virtual simulations for medical students and medical professionals. However, the study revealed a diverse group of users and a wide-range of health-related activities, from training, raising awareness about diseases, and research and marketting purposes. You can read the full report for free by following this link.
Researchers, learning technologists and healthcare educators are well aware of the potential for Second Life as a useful tool. The Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydeny, Australia, has introduced ‘Virtual Placements’ in Second Life for pharmacy students, and the PREVIEW project run by the e-Learning Unit at St George’s University of London uses the virtual world to help train paramedics on distance learning courses – both examples highlighting the flexibility of this online resource.