Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life

Pharmacy Patient Case Studies in Second Life

Information Technology Services at the University of North Carolina is initiating a pilot program in Second Life for its fourth-year pharmacy students.

The school has started to use SL as a training module, and has created a virtual version of Greensboro’s Moses Cone Family Practice Center, a local medical center. Students create an avatar and move through the center either as a student interviewing a patient, or as a patient. At the end of the simulation, the student takes a quiz to test his knowledge of the case history and of the practice center.

“I believe Second Life will allow students to accelerate their learning,” said Dr. Peter Koval, assistant director for Pharmacy Research and Education Services at the UNC School of Pharmacy. “Instead of taking five or six or even seven days of learning on-site to become oriented to their surroundings, because of their virtual experience, they may be ready on day one with a degree of comfort and familiarity with the location and the patient experience,” said Koval. “Second Life may allow students’ participation in patient care at a higher level and earlier in their clinical career.”

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