On the MUVE or in decline: Reflecting on the sustainability of the Virtual Birth Centre developed in Second Life

Sarah Stewart, Deborah Davis


Pressures in terms of the availability of quality, real-life clinical experiences for students have resulted in increased interest in the use of simulation in a variety of healthcare disciplines. Te wahi whanau: The birth place is a Virtual Birth Centre (VBC) that was created in Second Life in 2009 as part of the Second Life Education in New Zealand (SLENZ) initiative. It was introduced to midwifery students at two New Zealand polytechnics, with the aim of exposing the students to a birth centre environment and providing them with an opportunity to practise midwifery through immersion and engagement in a number of clinical scenarios. It has been just over two years since the development of the VBC, yet it is no longer used in the midwifery programs in which it was introduced. Using the VBC as a case study, we recount its development and critically reflect on the factors impacting on its ongoing utilisation. We believe our reflections offer useful insight into issues relating more broadly to the sustainability of MUVE-based teaching and learning projects and initiatives.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.846