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“Wow, woo, win”: Healthcare students’ and facilitators’ experiences of interprofessional simulation in three-dimensional virtual world: A qualitative evaluation study
In an age disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic, three-dimensional virtual world (3DVW) offers an opportunity for healthcare students from different higher education institutions to participate in interprofessional education. Despite its growing evidence, there is a need to unravel the complex learning process in order to ensure high quality of interprofessional education delivery.
This study aimed to explore the experiences of healthcare students and facilitators on the use of 3DVW for interprofessional team-based virtual simulation.
Interprofessional teams, each comprising six different healthcare students (Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Medical Social Work) and two clinicians who acted as facilitators, logged into the 3DVW from their own remote locations to participate in team-based care delivery that included an interprofessional bedside round and a family conference. A qualitative descriptive study was conducted on a purposive sample of 30 healthcare students and 12 facilitators using focus group discussions and individual interviews.
Four themes emerged from their experiences: the “wow experience”, authentic experience on collaborative care, ease of learning, and preeminent role of the facilitator. The simulation provided the “wow” experiences through contextual, collaborative and experiential learning approaches. Despite technical challenges, the participants were wooed by the comforts of learning from home and the psychological safety in virtual environment. The facilitators played a critical role in optimizing learning engagement to win learners over.
Our study explicates how attention to the “wow, woo and win” trilateral factors can transform the interprofessional learning experiences offered by 3DVW simulation. Future developments in the use of this learning technology should include developing the clinicians' facilitation skills and the provision of technical support to make this 3DVW a success calls in winning students' learning engagement.