Earlier this month, a group of academicians, from the University of Alberta, published a research article titled “Developing interprofessional health competencies in a virtual world.” This article throws light on the application of the de Freitas and Oliver’s four-dimensional framework for developing a virtual world based training simulation to develop inter-professional competencies among employees in hospitals where team work and collaboration plays a critical role in delivering healthcare services.
First lets take a look at the de Freitas and Oliver’s four-dimensional framework. The four dimensions are:
- What is the context of where the learning occurs and whether or not it is formal or informal?
- Who is the target audience and what is the learner background, learning styles and whether there is more than one learner (i.e., a team or group).
- To what extend the learning environment or platform should be developed and how realistic it has to be to make learning effective?
- What learning theory or models such as associative, cognitive or social/situative should apply?
The research article then go about explaining how to apply this framework to roll out a virtual world based training course for developing inter-professional skills in a healthcare setting. The screenshot below depicts the application of the de Freitas and Oliver’s framework in this context.
The recommendations provided in this article are standard practices to experienced service providers like Sify. However, many of these practices are not being implemented due to internal constraints and lack of experience. I have seen instances where the customer has chosen the wrong platform, not trained the users properly on using virtual worlds, not have a strategy for learning design, and the list is endless. In summary, a very useful article that can serve as a guide to training teams that are ready to venture into the virtual worlds based training delivery.