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Edwiygh Franck Article Review #3 Article Review #3

ADE 6265 Spring 2013

This paper presents a summary of an article which examined the effectiveness of virtual world simulations to provide healthcare management and leadership professional online students with crisis and emergency risk communication experience. In todays society, online education has become very popular because it is more convenient and fits right into the busy lifestyles of individuals. Due to this increased popularity, colleges and universities have to ensure that everything they offer in face-to-face courses is offered in their online courses so that the online students get the same experience. An example of such a university is Seton Hall University. They determined that they have to provide the same attributes of their face-to-face classes in the online courses of their Master of Healthcare Administration programs (Hewitt, Mirliss, Spencer, Twal, 2009). The university offers courses online and it has to provide skill-building scenarios to teach students emergency preparedness. As a result, a small group of faculty members worked with the Teaching, Learning and Technology Center at the school to research possible simulation options that use virtual world technology like Second Life to try to mimic the exercises that the students in face-to face courses go through, for the online students (Hewitt, Mirliss, Spencer, Twal, 2009). The team selected software and decided to implement it through a pilot project with students. They used elements of case-based instruction, which is a ...problem-oriented approach that allow students to practice decision-making skills within the context of a real-world problem (Hewitt, Mirliss, Spencer, Twal, 2009); and they designed worksheets that included scenarios to complete during the course. Once all documents were ready, the team provided the online students with training materials prior to them starting the exercise; therefore, the students had an opportunity to get familiar with the activities prior to engaging in the virtual activities. After the students reviewed the documents, they were allowed in the class and certain components were released to them. After the completion of the course, the team wanted to assess the experience so that they can determine the gaps and make the necessary improvements. They constructed two (2) surveys for the students to complete: one on the content of the course, and they other on the overall experience using the virtual world technology. Although students had some suggestions on missing resources that should be included in the course, they indicated the overall experience was a positive one. They advised that they received the necessary documents with enough time in advance to review prior to the start of the course. They reported that they enjoyed the whole experience, and that they gained knowledge through the course (Hewitt, Mirliss, Spencer, Twal, 2009). The team collected all of the data from the surveys, and came up with a list of lessons learned throughout the experience. Some of the lessons that they learned were that the majority of the students were not aware of virtual world technology; therefore, faculty members were doing double duty by teaching the content of the course and introducing the new technology to the students. Another lesson was that some of the students were using older computers, which meant that they may not have had the necessary hardware needed to run the virtual world technology. From these lessons, they determined that they will focus on three (3) main components: team participation and integration, timeline flexibility and length, and support materials and guided practice (Hewitt, Mirliss, Spencer, Twal, 2009).The team concluded that the project was successful and could be replicated in any discipline. They were able to provide online students with the same attributes that students from face-to-face courses are exposed to, which was the main goal of the project.

Edwiygh Franck Article Review #3

ADE 6265 Spring 2013

References Hewitt, A., Mirliss D., Spence, S., Twal, R. (2009). Preparing graduate students for virtual world simulations: exploring the potential of an emerging technology. Innovate 5 (6). Retrieved from http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=690.