Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lesson plans for Second Life virtual birth unit

Things are really hotting up now as the first stage of the SLENZ virtual birth unit is nearly complete. My current job is to develop lesson plans for the students to use for self-directed learning. The activities will be:

Group discussion

Learning objectives:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of childbirth as a normal life event which occurs within diverse social and cultural contexts.
  • Discuss the impact of the underpinning philosophies of midwifery on the childbirth experiences of women and the development of midwifery knowledge
Discuss the learning they have gained in a group that is set up especially for this in Facebook by responding to guiding questions I set them, as well as comments others make. This will be open to anyone who has a Facebook account. If it is successful, we could start similar groups in Bebo and MySpace. Whilst this is not the aim of the activity, it would be wonderful if a community of practice formed that looks at issues of birth and environment.

Compare and contrast

Learning objectives:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of childbirth as a normal life event which occurs within diverse social and cultural contexts.
  • Discuss the impact of the underpinning philosophies of midwifery on the childbirth experiences of women and the development of midwifery knowledge.
Write a small paragraph, record audio or make a video that compares and contrasts the virtual birth unit with the 'real' birthing environments they work in ie hospital, home, primary unit etc. This will encourage students to think about what is 'ideal' and what they see in real life. If they see gaps, hopefully they will think about how they can bridge the gaps to provide women with as ideal a birthing environment as possible. This paragraph can be published on the Internet wherever they 'hang out' such as the Facebook group.
Treasure Hunt

Learning objectives:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of childbirth as a normal life event which occurs within diverse social and cultural contexts.
  • Discuss the impact of the underpinning philosophies of midwifery on the childbirth experiences of women and the development of midwifery knowledge.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the midwife in the normal childbirth process.
  • Demonstrate effective evidence based, midwifery practice guided by a sound knowledge base.
Carry out a 'treasure hunt' around the unit and answer multiple choice questions about the unit and what it is trying to portray in an online survey. If they get answers wrong, they will be directed back to the unit or to other resources that will inform them. I was thinking that I would use MyStudiyo.
Reflection

Learning outcomes:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of childbirth as a normal life event which occurs within diverse social and cultural contexts.
  • Discuss the impact of the underpinning philosophies of midwifery on the childbirth experiences of women and the development of midwifery knowledge.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the midwife in the normal childbirth process.
Write a 500 word paragraph, record audio or make a video that reflects on their experiences in Second Life, and their learning about Second Life, networking and birth, and birthing environments. This paragraph can be published on the Internet wherever they 'hang out' such as the Facebook group or personal blog.
Self-directed learning
I have no idea whether the students will carry out these activities. There will be no assessment attached to them, nor will we be checking up on the students. The activities are designed to complement what the students are learning in class, and enhance the learning of students from any midwifery program. This is a deliberate strategy to make the birth unit a sustainable learning resources.

However, as Leigh Blackall has pointed out, the lesson plans will not be so relevant to midwives in developing countries because the Second Life birth unit is designed for the western context. Another project would be to look at how this birthing environment compares to birthing environments in developing countries...but that's for the future.


What do you think of these activities? Do they match up with the learning objectives? Can you suggest another idea?


Image: 'young maasai mama' Arriving at the horizon
www.flickr.com/photos/60614633@N00/468032088

5 comments:

Leigh Blackall said...

For now I have copy pasted what you have here - to the wiki.

I very much like the suggestion of using the unit to compare to other birth environments around the world. This takes the relevance of both the project (and the midwifery course it is designed for) to new dimensions.

Its a shame that we have limited our design to the specific learning objectives of a specific midwifery course in NZ. On the question of sustainability, and on the future of learning being networked and international, I coan't help wonder how much we have missed out on by limited it to such a specific context.

But as you say.. these ideas could be for a future...

Pam said...

As a student now and having had my world opened up to the possibilities of Web 2.0 in education, I am excited at the thought of students being able to record audio or make video`s about their experiences in the birthing unit.

Leigh Blackall said...

Wow Pam, that is very encouraging. Perhaps we could take this further Sarah.. now if we can get a comment like that from a 1st or 2nd year.. Pam's comment does point out that we could very well design lesson plans that engage more than just 1st and 2nd years tough...

Sarah Stewart said...

http://www.makeworksheets.com/tools/lp.html

Sarah Stewart said...

I thought I would add a fifth lesson plan about developing countries and birth environment - any ideas about how the activity could go?