Thursday, March 25, 2010

Week 11: Alternate Reality Learning: Massive Gaming, Virtual Reality, and Simulations

Week 11: March 22, 2010

This week was my week to moderate. I chose this week because of the simulation / virtual reality concepts. Simulation has become a key component to learning in nursing education. While the simulations are more so in a lab face to face, I am intrigued with Second Life and how simulation could be used online for nursing education.

One of the articles I read was Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2009, January). Why Virtual Worlds Matter. International Journal of Media and Learning, Vol. 1(1).

This article describes massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) as a sense of “being with others” and being able to share space, communicate and act in the shared space of a virtual world sense of “being there” with others. These types of games motivate players to think about life (situations) online in the form of an avatar (that the student / player creates) which provides an opportunity to truly engage in the “play of imagination”. The virtual online community that the article discusses is Second Life.

Virtual worlds require thinking about knowing, rather than knowledge (“knowledge in action”). Because the world in which the game happens is constantly in a state of flux, players are forced to continually adapt to changes. The goal is to think beyond the game and look to the ways in which virtual worlds combine the power of play (and situated learning) and the depth of experience that results from the game’s connection to everyday life.

The article discusses a concept called “learning inversion” in which a phase of learning about virtual worlds provide the opportunity for participants to be both/and: both inside and outside, both player and avatar, both character and person.

The article concludes that the kinds of engagement that players have with the game and with the social life around the game, suggest that the relationship players may have with new learning environments may be much deeper and much richer than current learning theories. The goal is to move beyond situated learning toward an understanding of these game spaces which focuses on the ways in which players construct not only a shared discourse and culture, but actually engage in the a feeling of what the article calls a “networked imagination.”

Another article that was interesting was: Teresa Coffman, Mary Beth Klinger (2007). Utilizing Virtual Worlds in Education: The Implications for Practice, International Journal of Social Sciences, Volume 2 Number 1. Retrieved August 18, 2008, from

This article specifically discusses Second Life ( ) which is a 3-D Multi User Virtual Environment (MUVE) that has grown to more than a million residents since its inception in 2003. Second Life is a world created solely by its residents. Within the virtual world are advertisers marketing to residents to buy products and services in the real-world. There are colleges and universities creating environments within the virtual world, such as Dartmouth College who created a 3D virtual island in Second Life to train community emergency response teams to handle real life emergencies by experiencing emergencies in a 3D environment.

In an educational context, the article discusses Second Life as having potential to provide rich and engaging learning experiences for students with peers as well as with other students and educators across the world. The Second Life learning environments allows students to immerse themselves in content that can potentially provide lessons learned within the virtual environment back into their real-lives, thereby creating meaning with the content to connect with concepts being taught in a classroom. This could be the ultimate critical thinking experience for students.

A virtual Second Life Demo specifically for nursing via You Tube is:

Other interesting Virtual Reality / Simulation links:

Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator Hones Surgeons' Skills, Improves Patient Safety:

Nursing / Healthcare Simulation Manikins by Laerdal; watch 2 video clips on this page (Sim Man 3 G):

Virtual Autopsy Table:

I am a Simulation Scholar for IU School of Nursing but certainly have much more to learn about moving simulation to the online environment.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Week 10: Interactive and Collaborative Learning

Week 10: March 15, 2010

The moderator this week was Mag. She provided the following definitions in order to make sure all were on the same page for discussions:
Synchronous (sync): same time/same place and same time/different place
Asynchronous (async): different time/same place and different time/different place

I personally like a blended use of both sync and asyn. Through my own personal online experiences as a student and as a teacher, I have used skype and adobe connect (aka Breeze).
The voice and video in adobe connect are sometimes not connected and there is sometimes a delay in the visuals on screen in which one is talking. I had trouble with this during a course I taught in the fall, 2009.

Skype is great for chatting with small groups or between several people. My daughter is getting ready to study in London for a month and we plan to use Skype to connect with her while she is abroad (we both have webcams for the visual too).

Leesa made this statement and I actually agree with her: She states that she is quite surprised that oncourse doesn't have something like illuminate or skype built into it. Would be a pretty neat feature! We need to talk with the IU IT department… it there are wikis and live chats, then there has to be an option to skype .

Pros and Cons of Sync:
PROs: quick, immediate, interactive, sense of community, responsive to student questions, visual for instructor and students, can archive and replay back, can invite others in.

CONs: time zone issues, bandwidth / conductivity may vary, other technical problems (microphones, webcams, overwhelming system, complex features)

Pros and Cons of Async:
PROs - delayed, more time to respond, more reflective with responses

CONs - feedback is slow or never comes at all, lacks visuals, lacks real-world or real classroom feel, might get deleted by mistake, too much to read and keep up with.

One of the articles that Mag summarized was: Sync Learning experiences: Distance & residential learners’ perspectives in blended grad course (2007):
Students are satisfied with their experiences in synchronous critique discussion and indicate that live communication is beneficial for them to exchange prompt feedback and suggestions. Regular meaningful interactions scheduled across the semester enhance social presence and a sense of connectivity among learners, playing an important role in their willingness and satisfaction. Instructors need to have solid knowledge and skill in various delivery mediums as well as an awareness of appropriate pedagogies, challenges and new roles for various types of sync and async environments.

I would be in favor of a blended sync and async use of technologies being thoughtful as to the appropriate use of the blend depending on the course. The advantages of synchronized connections certainly outweigh the cons. The sense of community and belonging to the group are very important for engagement and learning with distance education. Interactive technologies such as discussion forums, chats and adobe connect interactions provide effective collaborative learning for students. As a faculty, this is a challenge but in a good way. It keeps an online course fresh and current for students.

Interesting tidbit / link for the week: 7 things you should know about Ning. I had not heard of Ning before but now know it is an educational social networking site.

Interactive sites:
Adobe Connect Pro (formerly Breeze) – see our class url:
Yahoo! Groups:
Windows Live Groups:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Week 9: YouTube, TeacherTube, and the Future of Shared Online Video

Week 9: March 8, 2010

This was probably one of my favorite weeks. Diane, my critical partner for blogging, was the moderator and provided many excellent resources under the ‘Cool Resource’ forum.
From the Wayne State Video Professor examples (which were really fun to watch) to the how to make a You Tube and change backgrounds and other You Tube helpful links… great stuff to use for future reference.

I also loved the info for the blind to scan books for audio accessibility. Very interesting info for the hearing and visually impaired.

A question posed this week was: How can (or have) you use tools like YouTube (or how could you make better use of social networks (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. using tools like YouTube) Give some examples of how you would implement these tools into your classroom.
Teaching online is challenging.

At this point, I am just trying to support readings with other online sites, ebooks, and articles. However, I am a believer in You Tube. I use them whenever I can. I became less inhibited about using You Tubes after Dr. Bonk’s course on creativity and learning. You Tubes can be very educational, humorous, and extreme to stress important points. Other You Tubes can cause thought provoking discussions such as the Hugs Campaign: and the You Tube to support Breast Cancer Research:

However, I have not incorporated any of the social networks into class yet such as Facebook and Twitter. I certainly have plans to rethink this in the near future though.

Another question asked this week was: Do you find yourself watching less TV because you now watch YouTube videos, TV shows, news and check your email on your smart phone or netbook?

I personally do not have much time to watch TV but my college age daughter is a huge fan of Hulu and watches (and rewatches) many shows such as The Office and Dexter. She has actually taught me a few things about catching up on favorite shows that I have missed…mmm.

My Favorite article this week was: Bonk, C. J. (2008, March). YouTube anchors and enders: The use of shared online video content as a macrocontext for learning. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2008 Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

Dr. Bonk does a great job of highlighting the pros and cons of online videos and You Tubes. One statement he makes is: online videos such as You Tube videos can illuminate and augment weekly assigned readings. These videos can anchor instruction at the beginning of class as well as help to end the class. I certainly have used You Tubes as ice breakers as well end of class statements as Dr. Bonk suggests. This is a very nice article!

Finally, another favorite You Tube thanks to Dr. Bonk: This one is called: Where the Hell is Matt?

Love it and enjoy,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week 8: Wikis, Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and Collaborative Writing

Week 8: March 1, 2010

Wikis are a tool for social construction of knowledge (Dr. Curt Bonk). I have heard of wikis, wikipedia and wikibooks but have not ever used any personally nor with students. I am an inexperienced wikian. So I learned a lot from the articles and interactions this week.

Several articles for the week describe the use of wikis in education:

Sajjapanroj, Bonk, Lee, and Lin in the article, “ The Window on Wikibookians: Surveying their Statuses, Successes, Satisfactions and Sociocultural Experiences ” (2005) state -

“For instance, one participant argued for, ‘A way for people to communicate with each other, a way to track the contributions of each person, a way to make the information accessible to newcomers, a simple interface that an average person can learn very quickly or even use intuitively.’ Another participant emphasized the importance of a voting system; ‘I think for revisions, a voting system might be instituted. This eliminates power struggles over points of view, etc.’ Clearly, there remain many wikibook components and tools that require additional refinements and enhancements to facilitate online collaboration and coordination among Wikibookians” (p. 50).

Interesting 'stats' that the article points out include:
• Wikibokian Demographics - majority less than 35 years old, male, 50% less than bachelors education, about 75% employeed in education and business, 77% had experience working/learning in a collaborative onnline environment outside of Wikibook.
• Wikibook processes - 78% felt that contributing to a learning/sharing of knowledge effort was most important reason to participate, personal growth and enrichment was rated second highest (58%), 94% found tools and resources fun to use, 75% found wikibook projects challenging, 70% indicated they did not personally own the project suggesting a strong community spirit of ownership (not unlike tribal social relationships, I think), even though book completion was slow, 90% felt their most recent project was personally rewarding
• Wikibook environments and tools - tool features were satisfactory (88%- tools, 68% discussion tools, 64% user-friendly website - % indicating OK)
• Wikibooks and Sociocultural - 82% considered indepenent learning was encouraged, 100% believed wikibooks promoted online collaboration.

Another article called: “Uses and Potentials of Wikis in the Classroom” by Ferris and Wilder points out:

Ownership or self-control of learning is an important principle. Educators "must allow students complete control of the content in order for a wiki to work effectively as a teaching and learning tool." It is suggested that educations should be less concerned about editing untrustworthy information out but helping students know how to "make their own judgments regarding the accuracy of information."

Uses for wikis in this research learning environment included:
• collaborative activities - collaborative writing, problem-solving, creating and sharing of information sources, i.e would our R685 forum fit this activity?
• information sources,
• submission of student assignments
• project spaces.

A final article by O’Shea, Baker, Allen, Curry-Corcoran, & Allen, (2007, Winter), New Levels of Student Participatory Learning: A WikiText for the Introductory Course in Education, Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 6(3), states:

“students find the Wikitext process credible and value the experience and the next step is to determine if professionals validate the student perceptions of credibility. This WikiText experiment is a major effort to integrate content, pedagogy, and technology. Each of these three course dimensions interact and support the others in learning online.”

Interesting links / tidbits for the week: compares side by side different wikis (advantages and disadvantages) A conference video as a quick overview of how a class might collaborate to write their own textbook. a ‘how to’ wiki page seven things you should know about Wikipedia from Educause, (2007, June)

I will try to be brave and attempt the use of wikis in teaching my future online nursing courses.