The first stage of the virtual birth unit in Second Life is completed and on a roll. This element of the project involves first year midwifery students being invited to look around the birth unit (which you can find here), join the birth unit Facebook Group and complete a series of four learning activities.
All the information and learning resources have been developed on Wikieducator:
Orientation to Second Life
Along with the birth unit is an orientation package that has been developed by the SLENZ team. It's well worth looking at if you are new to Second Life.
Challenges for the students
The students have been given brief introductions to the Second Life in a face-to-face session. Now, it's up to them to work their way through the learning activities. The learning activities have been designed to complement their formal lessons so the virtual birth unit puts another perspective on what they are already learning.
This is not a compulsory project that the students so we'll be testing how motivated the students are and how well they are engaged with the birth unit. The activities are an adjunct to classes so many students will have to access Second Life away from the campus. So we'll also be able to see what challenges face students from a technological point of view.
Meeting on Friday
We will be meeting every Friday morning at 10am New Zealand time for the next few weeks to discuss the birth unit, have a look at Second Life and think about birth and birth environment. We'd love to see you if you'd like to pop along. My name in Second Life is Petal Stransky.
This Friday we will be having a look around Second Life and particularly focusing on other birthing units, hospitals and places women could birth. This is part of the second learning activity. Please feel free to join us - the times for international visitors can be found here.
Where to from here
The second phase of the project is more complex scenarios based around labour and birth which our second and third year students will be invited to engage with. These scenarios will involve working in pairs as a birthing mother and midwife and working through a labour and birth.
If ever you want to have a guided tour around the birth unit, just let me know.