Occupational Medicine Simulation Project


  • Aaron Griffiths




virtual, simulation, occupational medicine, contextual learning, authenticity, presence


In 2013 the Occupational and Aviation Medicine (OAM) unit of the University of Otago secured a project grant to develop a simulated virtual world environment for students of this unit, specifically those studying occupational medicine as distance learners. The simulation would be employed by facilitated student groups to contextualize occupational data for specific work processes, to re-enact occupational health examinations in the compiling of clinical assessments and to develop a research proposal for assessing health outcomes in these hazard environments. Developmentally, the underlying intent of the project was twofold; firstly, to investigate the virtual elements essential to the creation of an authentic context for learning and secondly, to explore those virtual aspects that might provide a supportive learning environment for the geographically dispersed student body. This paper details the pedagogical and design rationale employed by the author in the pursuit of this intent.