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Senior Project - DOCTOR


Health Care Education Using Second Life

Senior Project: 2009-2010
Michael Getz, Douglas Kumagai, Jonathan Loptien and Michael Niland

The Health Care Informatics Department in the College of Nursing at CU Denver is an online college that teaches students from all over the country. The students are required to communicate with each other and with their professors, give presentations on their projects, and demonstrate knowledge in daily operating procedures of a registered nurse.

Currently, the Health Care Informatics professors utilize tools such as Adobe Connect and Blackboard to facilitate learning. Unfortunately, these tools are mostly text and voice based and provide students very little interactivity with one another. These tools also require significant administrative overhead to allow students the capabilities necessary for learning. For example, to give presentations in Adobe Connect, an administrator is required to provide the necessary permissions to users to allow voice and screen sharing. Needing an administrator to perform simple actions is a hassle both for the students and the professors.

DOCTOR is designed to integrate some of the currently-used tools into a single system and also to provide some "real" world experience for the students. DOCTOR is implemented in Second Life due to the free servers and free accounts for the students. Maintenance is done by Linden Lab, which minimizes administrative overhead for the sponsor. DOCTOR implemented a conference room and an auditorium that facilitate presentations and meetings, allowing students improved interaction compared to emails and phone conferences. There is no administrative overhead for the presentation system, allowing students to practice presentations without a professor helping.

Along with the presentation system, DOCTOR provides two simulated examination rooms. The first examination room is designed for students to be led through daily routines by a registered nurse to get a feel of the environment that the students will be working in after graduation. The second examination room provides a simulated patient with artificial intelligence. The patient can be used by students to practice common questions asked in the diagnosis of illnesses.

DOCTOR will be an evolving project. The sponsor intends to continue development to better provide students with a positive learning experience. DOCTOR provides a strong platform upon which to build, making expansions a quick and simple process.

Exam Room
Exam Room
Conference Room
Conference Room
See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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May 5, 2012 (14:07)