How did it make you feel? Using immersive 360 VR video to build empathy within clinical settings

Beggan, Andy, Morton, Sean and Simpson, Trevor (2017) How did it make you feel? Using immersive 360 VR video to build empathy within clinical settings. In: ALT Conference 2017, 5 - 7 September 2017, University of Liverpool.

How did it make you feel? Using immersive 360 VR video to build empathy within clinical settings
How did it make you feel? Using immersive 360 VR video to build empathy within clinical settings
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


The potential offered by immersive 360 virtual reality (VR) video to deliver experiential learning opportunities that tap into a student’s feelings is seen by some as the key benefit for VR (Berdik, 2017). Sutherland (2017) notes that through the experience of VR ‘designers and their collaborators hope to build empathy in their participants’ where ‘VR has a unique capacity to put a viewer in someone else’s shoes’ whilst recognising the limitations that VR can only truly provide an immersive perspective of another’s experiences. With the cost of VR production becoming increasingly affordable and accessible, a team of academic leads, digital support staff and student video producers at the University of Lincoln explored what benefits 360 VR video could provide for a group of nursing students. Viewing a 360 VR clinical scenario, the students were encouraged to reflect on how they felt experiencing being a patient on a busy hospital ward.

Experiential learning has a long tradition in medical teaching and, in this presentation, we will discuss the design and planning of the 360 VR video and its use within teaching to: develop student empathy for the patient experience; reflect on the nursing practice portrayed; discuss the different viewing journeys delivered to each student through the 360 VR video.

The team at the University piloted the use of a 360 VR video by recording a loosely scripted clinical scenario within a hospital ward setting. The academic team members employ similar scenarios frequently within seminars, where the emphasis is on the use of communication, clinical skills, clinical judgement and professional values. The approach of extending these sessions through a 360 VR video was new for the University. Scalable and affordable production processes were essential in our planning. Encouraged by the availability of affordable cameras and delivery through personal smart phones and VR goggles, we will discuss the benefits the technology has delivered for our learners over those offered by traditional video.

We will discuss the production process which involved mounting a 360 VR camera over the pre-frontal bone area of the mannequin to simulate the 360 view a patient would have if they were situated in the scenario (in a hospital ward). This unique perspective (i.e. the lived experience) is something that we often discuss in a Health and Social education context, but we rarely use technology to deliver it in a simulated clinical scenario – so this was unique and interesting for us.

We will also present the final video, highlighting the challenges faced (practical and technological), student reactions and future plans. We can already see other opportunities for the use of 360 VR video in our suite of clinical exercises. These are exciting times for us at Lincoln – we think we’ve got something unique and previously un-tapped at the University and we want to see what we can do with it as we begin to understand the medium more. The most important outcome is to understand the end-user experience and how the video enhances the projected learning outcomes of a range of users.

Keywords:simulation, learning, VR, 360 degree
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W613 Film & Sound Recording
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B700 Nursing
X Education > X900 Others in Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
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ID Code:28704
Deposited On:02 Oct 2017 17:33

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