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Knowledge-Driven Design of Virtual Patient Simulations

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Innovate: Journal of Online Education Volume 5, Number 2, ISSN 1552-3233


Virtual worlds provide unique opportunities for instructors to promote, study, and evaluate student learning and comprehension. In this article, Victor Vergara, Thomas Caudell, Timothy Goldsmith, Panaiotis, and Dale Alverson explore the advantages of using virtual reality environments to create simulations for medical students. Virtual simulations in multiuser virtual environments (MUVEs) can provide a safe and engaging alternative to clinical practice with actual simulated patients, creating environments that allow for interactive experiential learning. Vergara and colleagues conducted studies to measure the effectiveness of simulations that allowed medical students to interact with virtual patients in both partially and fully immersive environments. The results demonstrated significant knowledge gains among students who used a MUVE trainer. Usability studies confirmed the MUVE trainer's effectiveness and efficiency for medical education. In addition, students gave favorable feedback regarding their satisfaction with the experience of using the MUVE. (Contains 8 exhibits and 1 table.)


Vergara, V., Caudell, T., Goldsmith, T., , P. & Alverson, D. (2008). Knowledge-Driven Design of Virtual Patient Simulations. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 5(2),. Retrieved January 26, 2020 from .


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