Exploring nursing students’ assessment and decision-making while in a Second Life clinical simulation laboratory

Jacqueline McCallum, Valerie Ness, Theresa Price

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Recently nurse education research has demonstrated that following qualification and registration there are still a number of skill deficits in newly qualified nurses (Scholes et al 2004). Two main areas identified were practical skills, such as communication, decision-making and drug administration and managerial/organisational skills such as delegation and running a ward. Nurse educators need to provide innovative teaching, learning and assessment strategies as well as conduct research on the efficacy of the range of the strategies utilised to address these identified areas of concern. One such innovative method is the teaching of clinical skills, not in an actual simulation laboratory, but in a virtual learning environment. Caledonian University has invested in the Second Life® virtual learning environment, and own an Island, on which is the university campus with a realistic copy of the actual clinical simulation laboratory (CSL) where currently pre and post registration nursing students learn and become competent in skills. A small scale quantitative study which evaluated the students’ experience of using Second Life® in order to learn assessment and decision-making skills was conducted. Third year nursing students (n=65) in groups of three, assumed Avatars and accessed the CSL within Second Life® gaining practice and experience in working through a highly dependent patient scenario. Data was collected anonymously through a previously validated questionnaire with 20 statements about Second Life®, on a 5 point Likert scale (Cobb et al 2009).  This presentation will discuss the results of the students’ experience and their decision-making skills.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2010


  • simulation
  • clinical skills
  • decision-making
  • nursing students
  • Second Life


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