Pilot Study of a Virtual 3D Laboratory

Ui Soon KHOO
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
uskhoo@pathology.hku.hk

Brant KNUTZEN
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
brant@hku.hk

Abstract

Background:
Proper orientation of laboratory safety measures are an important introductory component for new research postgraduate student and laboratory research staff. Personalized instruction is repetitive and time consuming and often with no intellectual engagement.

The initiative:
We designed a series of virtual 3D introductory training sessions using Second Life to replace the traditional didactic introductory lecture, incorporating simulated examples to highlight the relevance of issues being covered. These virtual 3D simulation sessions require individual interaction and are designed to enable the students to learn from their responses during the interactive sessions. Each training session will also include some self-learning materials presented on the eLearning platform Moodle, as well as a quiz to assess students' understanding.

Method of evaluative data collection and analysis:
A cohort of 10 new students/staff to the department will be given their safety induction by means of these virtual 3D introductory training sessions, followed by a quiz for each session. An online questionnaire will be designed to obtain quantitative evaluation and user interviews will be conducted to obtain qualitative evaluation. Previous 10 students/staff who had been given their safety orientation the traditional way by means of lecture attendance will also be asked to attempt the same quizzes as the new cohort.

Evidence of effectiveness:
As the numbers involved in this pilot study are as yet small, emphasis will be comparing qualitative data obtained. The new batch of students are due for their orientation in April and data will be ready for presentation at the conference.

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