Acquisition of clinical skills is a form of experiential learning (learning by doing and reflection). However, there are limited opportunities to provide this type of learning virtually. Virtual learning is a learning experience that is enhanced through utilizing computers and/or the internet both outside and inside the facilities of the educational organization.
We have combined two previously developed and validated technologies: Gamified Educational Networking (GEN) and three-dimensional (3D) printing to create Virtual - Health Experiential Learning Platform (H.E.L.P.) to fill this gap.
Virtual H.E.L.P. is built on the principles of gamification (usage of game-based elements in a non-game context to engage learners and promote learning), observational practice, independent hands-on practice, and peer-to-peer feedback, and is delivered virtually.
Whether we drive a car on a road or a needle in the operating room, conduct a surgery or an orchestra we engage in highly skilled actions, which all require hands on practice to master!
Our lab is dedicated to develop, manufacture and validate inexpensive and customizable simulators using 3D printing and additive manufacturing techniques. Because these simulators are inexpensive, they are a great option to take home.
maxSIMbox is a simple and portable box containing a number of inexpensive, standardized and validated simulators. The unit contains storage, latching mechanisms for securing the simulators to rigid surfaces, and pivoting/tilting mechanism to adjust the working angle. The flexibility of the design and manufacture process enables the customization of many bench top simulators to ensure fit with the unit. The unit can be modified to fit any custom parameters (e.g. making it bigger to fit larger bench top simulators).
Most of our simulators fit in the SmaxSIMbox, which together with GEN makes a great package for hybrid experiential learning at distance (Virtual H.E.L.P.)!
We are working with ProxSIMity Inc to manufacture and distribute these simulators for educational purposes.