Colorado tries ‘immersive game-based learning’

“Immersive game-based learning” (IGBL) is a teaching tool at the Community College of Aurora, reports the Denver Post.

In one building on CCA’s Lowry campus, there are numerous simulated areas — a multiroom house, a bar, an outdoor cafe, even an ambulance in which students can practice treating trauma victims or responding to an event.

“There’s one where the EMT students go into the house and see a man handcuffed and badly injured, and a woman and child off in another area,” (Colorado Community College System president Nancy) McCallin said. “Almost always, the student goes to the woman, but that’s always wrong — it turns out she was the abusive parent and it was the man who needed immediate medical attention.”

One of the latest additions is a simulated courtroom, complete with a jury box. Expected to be operational by next month, “Law and Order: EDU” will be run by Margaret Uchner, CCA’s legal studies program coordinator and a former deputy district attorney in Douglas County.

Students and faculty enjoy IGBL courses, according to surveys.  

“There are studies that show that the more engaged students are, the more likely their chances for success and their excitement about the future increases,” McCallin said.

Other Colorado community colleges are experimenting with IGBL, reports Community College Weekly. 

The Auto Collision Repair program at Morgan Community College purchased a SimSpray immersive virtual reality painting simulation unit. . . . The 3D SimSpray experience, aimed at students who play video games, allows students to practice painting before ever stepping into the paint bay.

At Front Range Community College, curriculum designer Kae Novak, who specializes in game-based immersive environments and virtual worlds, designed “Project Outbreak.” It’s a series of augmented reality scenarios in which microbiology students track and follow a potential epidemic in their local area to its source across international borders. Students use their mobile devices, the TagWhat geolocation app, Google Hangout and Google maps. Scenarios are designed to meet core competencies, promote global connectedness and give students a global perspective in solving real-world problems.

Angie Generose, an adjunct instructor at the Community College of Denver, is teaching a systemwide student success course through ACCESS, a web-based game modeled after the board game “Life.”

Iowa college teaches in ‘virtual hospital’

A new “virtual hospital” is helping Hawkeye Community College (Iowa) train health care workers, reports Community College Times.

The new virtual hospital and simulation labs use state-of-the-art technology with realistic computerized full-body manikins, 3D imaging software, a medication management system and a web-based electronic medical records system replicating a medical facility.

Hawkeye’s new labs create a broad range of hospital settings including emergency room, intensive care, labor and delivery, exam rooms and many other patient scenarios. With more than 20 manikins, Hawkeye’s simulation labs have the depth and diversity of manikins covering a lifespan: birthing mom, infant, pediatric and all stages of adulthood.

With 3D body imaging software, BodyViz, students can learn anatomy, examine body tissue and look for diseases.

The patient is a mannequin

A state-of-the art health-care simulation lab is helping future nurses and respiratory therapists practice their skills at Kennebec Valley Community College in Augusta, Maine, reports the Kennebec Journal.

When Jake Heart was brought to the hospital, he was struggling to breathe, had a barking cough, swollen ankles and complained of being tired.

Paramedics relayed Heart’s vital signs and condition to nurses and respiratory therapists and they got to work — talking with Heart, starting an intravenous drip, monitoring his blood pressure and listening to his lungs.

Heart will be back for treatment. The “$30,000 anatomically correct mannequin who breathes, blinks, bleeds, sweats, talks, has bodily functions and can have seizures” is the star patient at the college’s four-bed lab, which resembles a hospital room.

Instructors manipulate Heart, a medical mannequin, from a computer in a control room. Instructors view the lab and students through five one-way windows.

“It’s such a powerful educational tool,” said Marcia Parker, director of nursing at the college.

As Jake Heart was being treated, the lab’s “elderly” mannequin was recovering from a broken left leg set with a red cast, while a pediatric mannequin was lying in bed holding a teddy bear.

The college hopes to acquire a birthing mannequin and open the lab for training by police, fire and rescue units.