University College Dublin
The aim of this T&L initiative is to embed a virtual reality (VR) radiography simulator throughout the Radiography programmes to enhance skills development and provide improved feedback opportunities. Obtaining expertise is directly linked to the time devoted to practice of such skills, however, the current pedagogical approach could be enhanced through the use of VR to better prepare students for the clinical examination of real patients on clinical placement.
Students will access the simulated X-ray equipment and patients through a VR headset with interactive hand controls. They will be able to conduct entire radiographic examinations for the full range of X-ray examinations. Students will work in pairs, each getting 30mins of ‘hands on’ practice per session, in contrast to ten students attending traditional X-ray labs potentially getting 5mins practice each.
Students receive instant feedback from the software, providing them, and academic staff, with valuable objective data on skill development, and opportunities for individual intervention as required for a personalised learning experience. VR simulation also allows students to complete formative/summative competency assessments for the full range of radiographic examinations. The VR implementation and evaluation will involve a lecturer/student partnership, enhancing both the student learning experience and the lecturer/tutor teaching and assessment skills. This partnership will primarily involve students engaging as project partners and co-creators. In particular, the suitability of VR tasks and associated assessments will be evaluated with feedback from a wider cohort of students, helping to enhance the roll out and embedding of VR technology.