Plan for the sessions
I thought I'd break up the days into several sessions. The first session I will talk about the Second Life Education New Zealand (SLENZ) project and how the virtual birthing unit came about. I'll also describe exactly what the birth unit and normal birth scenario do and achieve. Then, I'll run a Second Life workshop and orientate the midwives to SL. At the same time I'll talk about some of the barriers to SL and how we can overcome them. In the last part of the day I'll ask the midwifery lecturers to brain storm how they could use the birth unit in their program next year.
Where does the birth unit sit in a three year midwifery program?
I haven't seen the SLENZ student evaluation so I feel a little as if I am groping in the dark. But my sense is there are three options for the birth unit:
- orientation to the clinical context for first year students
- activity for second year students as they learn about normal birth
- revision activity for third year students.
Other options in Second Life for midwifery education
I was thinking that it would be worth talking about other resources in SL that midwifery educators could utilise in their program. The first thing that obviously comes to mind is the post-partum haemorrhage scenario that has been developed by the University of Auckland. There is also the heart murmur simulation and Genome Island.
The Virtual Hallucination may also be of value. I would love to see it adapted to fit the context of post-partum psychosis but it is still relevant to midwifery students who will come across women (and their families) who have mental health issues.
Working with midwifery educators outside New Zealand
I'd love to hear from any educators outside New Zealand (or outside midwifery) who are interested in using the birth unit and normal birth scenario in their own programs. I am very interested in setting up an international collaborative evaluation/study so please let me know if you'd like more information.
In my next blog post I'd like to talk more about how the birth unit and its impact on midwifery education can be evaluated.
Image: Visiting Genome Island