DiViFaG: Virtual Learning to support health education

VR in educational context

The use of virtual reality (VR) technology in education rises in popularity, especially in professions that include the training of practical skills. This often involves the training of situations that might in reality be dangerous, hard to reproduce or expensive when repeated several times. Those challenges can be overcome by creating virtual learning applications that offer the possibility to train critical situations in safe and controllable environments. For example, extinguishing a fire or practicing a dangerous surgery can be practiced without risk. Rare situations can be simulated in VR and repeated several times, which might be hard or impossible in real life. Finally, when it comes to training scenarios that involve multiple people, those can meet in VR, represented by virtual avatars that match the desired role. Therefore, no organization of a meeting with multiple people at the same place is necessary. The resulting training environments can then be adjusted to the learner's skill levels and the teacher's needs. Therefore, the inclusion of VR training scenarios in education can be beneficial for both the students and the teachers.
example of a virtual reality training application to train infusion preparation with an inserted image of a user

The project DiViFaG (Digitale und Virtuell unterstützte Fallarbeit in den Gesundheitsberufen) is going to make use of the benefits that VR training simulations offer in the context of medical and health care education. In this field, students often report that they feel a lack of sufficient training in communication and practical skills. Especially the training of cooperation with other professions (e.g. medicine and nursing) is rarely included in the regular education. Therefore, multiple training scenarios will be designed by all project partners which will allow students an autonomous and interprofessional practice of those skills as well as to enable teachers to adjust the designed scenarios to the individual needs and directly access their students’ results. To make this level of controllability easier accessible, the VR applications will be integrated into existing learning management systems (LMS).

The implemented scenarios will be evaluated from the perspective of both teachers and students. It will be analyzed if both groups benefit from the use of VR training simulations and if the tools are feasible to use for exams

Scenarios developed in this project

Infusion Preparation

This scenario teaches the students the process of preparing an infusion bottle. Additionally, behaviour in a clinical environment is trained. Students learn to keep the environment disinfected and prevent contamination on their way to a ready-to-use infusion.

Reanimation

In this scenario students learn the process of giving basic life support. The training also includes how to work in a Team. An NPC (non-player-character) will join the student to give support during the reanimation process.

Wound Treatment

Besides learning the process of correct wound treatment, the students also learn how to properly approach a patient. This scenario is not in their native language, so they additionally benefit from second language learning in the context of wound treatment.

Colostoma Care

Since the correct care of a colostoma comes with a lot of delicate interactions with small objects, this scenario can be controlled either with the VR controllers or the own hands, made possible via the hand tracking feature of the Meta Quest 2. Using the hands can feel more natural and make performing those small interactions a bit easier.

Interdisciplinary Multiplayer

To support the interdisciplinary learning of nursing and medicine students, this scenario enables the students to choose their role in form of a virtual avatar and then meet in a virtual patient room to discuss a certain patient case or condition.

Blood Collection

In this scenario, students will learn how to prepare their facility for blood collection. You need to gather all the relevant materials and prepare the patient. After that, they can watch a video that further explains the process of puncturing a vein and drawing blood.

Working Paper

During the project, we will publish our findings in form of several working papers to generate an added value for the community of digital learning.
  • Digitale und virtuell unterstützte fallbasierte Lehr-/Lernszenarien in den Gesundheitsberufen – Rahmenbedingungen, Anforderungen und Bedarfe an die hochschulische Ausbildung [Link]
  • Digitale und virtuell unterstützte fallbasierte Lehr-/Lernszenarien in den Gesundheitsberufen – theoretische und konzeptuelle Grundlagen zur Entwicklung fallbasierter VR-Szenarien am Beispiel Reanimation [Link]
  • Virtuell unterstützte, fallbasierte Lehr-Lernszenarien für die hochschulische Ausbildung in den Gesundheitsberufen – Rahmenbedingungen, Anforderungen und Bedarfe [Link]

Team Emden

Responsible Investigators:

Research Assistants:
Dennis Jongebloed
Ruwim Merling
Maresa Schulte

Project Partners

The team from HS Emden/Leer is responsible for the implementation of the VR applications. The subject-specific content for the medicine and health care learning scenarios is given by HS Osnabrück, FH Bielefeld and Bielefeld University. Didactical input also comes from Bielefeld University.