Designing VR-Enhanced Educational Activities: A Backward Design Approach
Date & Time
Saturday, June 12, 2021, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Purpose Virtual reality (VR) use for health professions education has been rapidly growing during the past few years. This educational technology offers great potential benefits, including better learner engagement, ability to provide learner-centred adaptive content, with a strong focus on experiential learning. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of evidence-based best practices in VR-education, and poor implementation strategies can lead to limited educational outcomes and unnecessary costs. Proper design of VR-enhanced educational interventions based on proven educational frameworks with appropriate assessment strategies is essential to take full advantage of this technology. This interactive workshop aims to introduce the principles of backward design for VR-enhanced learning activities to improve educational outcomes and reduce unnecessary costs associated with deficient implementation, through the careful integration of educational objectives and assessment methods. Selecting the right tools for the job is essential in the successful utilization of any educational technology, and gaining the necessary knowledge of how to optimize VR in health professions education is critical to establishing a successful program. This workshop has been successfully conducted in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and this is the first opportunity to hold it in North America.

Goals The educational goals for this workshop are as follows:

  • Understanding the full potential of VR as an educational tool
  • Identifying different types of VR tools commonly used in health professions education
  • Understanding the backwards design approach to developing educational activities with VR
  • Analyzing a VR-enhanced educational activity through a case study
  • Identifying common VR implementation errors and their impact on educational outcomes
  • Identifying strategies to improve educational transfer using VR
  • Designing a sample educational intervention using the backward design approach

Timeliness and Significance to the Field VR-enhanced learning rapidly growing in most professional fields, including health professions education. Due to the novelty of VR and AR, proper instructional methodologies and best practices of integration of this technology to the health professions education have not yet been clearly defined. This workshop aims to provide educators with a guideline on how to integrate virtual technologies in the overall curricular design and gain a better understanding of their benefits and limitations within an educational program. This workshop hopes to help educators integrate VR more effectively to their courses and promote the gathering of outcome related evidence to help develop this exciting new educational technology.

Workshop description including teaching methods and timeline for educational activities

  1. Introduction (10min) Understanding participants previous exposure to Virtual Technologies (VR, AR, MR) Methodology: Small group discussion
  2. Basic concepts of VR in Education (20min) Defining basic terminology related to virtual technologies in education (Immersion, Agency, Virtual Reality Sickness), develop a working understanding of the features of VR equipment, review some of the educational frameworks commonly applied to VR-enhanced education (Kolb's experiential learning cycle, Payton's four steps). Methodology: Interactive lecture with VR demonstration
  3. Types of VR Application in Health Professions Education (20min) Understand and experience the essential kinds of VR applications in health professions education, including 360o video experiences, interactive models and procedural trainers. Participants will have the opportunity to experience VR first hand in a small group setting. Methodology: Experiential learning session with VR equipment
  4. Backward Design Approach (20 min) Introduction of a modified version of the Backward Design framework (McTighe, Wiggins, 1998) optimized for VR-enhanced education. This activity will provide participants with a framework to better conduct the case study and group project. Methodology: Interactive lecture
  5. A case study in VR-enhanced Learning (40 min) Educational case analysis of a VR intervention, including discussion of education outcomes and participant feedback analysis. Participants will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the intervention and formulate a plan to improve the educational outcomes. Participants will share their ideas, and the improvement plan of the actual case will be presented at the end of the discussion. Methodology: Guided case discussion
  6. Creating a VR-enhanced Education Project (60 min) Participants work in small groups to develop a VR-enhanced educational intervention using the Backward Design framework. Each group will present their intervention and receive feedback from the faculty and other participants. Methodology: Group project
  7. Conclusion (10min) Discussion of best practices in VR-enhanced educations. Methodology: Group discussion

Presenter's qualifications/expertise in area Daniel Salcedo, MD, MHPE Director of Educational Research at the Center for Simulation for Medical Simulation (CEMS) at Taipei Medical University. Taipei, Taiwan. Dr. Salcedo has ample experience as a VR-enhanced education developer in the field of 360o educational video experiences and VR procedural trainers. Daniel is an active researcher in the field of VR enhanced education and regularly conducts VR faculty development workshops in Asia. He has contributed as a consultant to numerous VR development and teaching projects in Taiwan and internationally.

Mark Chen, MD. Clinical Instructor at the Emergency Medicine Department at WangFang Municipal Hospital, and Educational Researcher at the Center for Simulation in Medical Education (CEMS), Taipei, Taiwan. Dr. Chen has ample experience teaching with VR, including ultrasonography training and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

Yerko Berrocal, MD. Associate Professor of Clinical Health Sciences Education; Director of Academic Programs, Health Sciences Education Department, University of Illinois College of Medicine. Dr. Berrocal is an expert in Technology-Enhanced Learning and has hosted numerous workshops in the USA and internationally.

Andrew Darr, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Education Department, University of Illinois College of Medicine. Dr. Dar is deeply involved in the field of technology-enhanced learning and responsible for the creation of numerous technology-enhanced educational programs.

James Thomas, MD Lecturer at the Medical Education Centre at Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. Dr, Thomas is an education specialist and VR educator at Keio University and has been an early adopter in the field of VR education in Japan. He regularly conducts VR-enhanced educational programs and conducts research in the field of VR in Health Professions Education.

Thomas Lin, MD, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer at the Center for Simulation in Medical Education at Taipei Medical University. Dr. Lin is a simulation expert and has participated in numerous projects bringing VR to simulation-based education. He has also conducted innovative work in Technology-Enhanced Learning for health professions education including the Crowdsource Authoring Assessment Tool (CAAT). He is a regular speaker at many international conferences and has conducted several workshops at international meetings both in health professions education and simulation.

Outcomes - What skills will attendees acquire? Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the potential uses of VR in health professions education
  • Apply educational frameworks to enhance the outcomes of virtual technologies
  • Select effective VR hardware and software for specific educational interventions
  • Analyze and improve VR-enhanced educational interventions
  • Design VR learning experiences using the Backward Design methodology
Yerko Berrocal Andrew Darr Daniel Salcedo