Promoting Interprofessional Collaboration: A Pilot Project Using Simulation in the Virtual World of Second Life


  • Deborah Lee Davis University of Canberra and ACT Government Health Directorate
  • Gylo Hercelinskyj Australian Catholic University
  • Lynette M. Jackson Canberra Institute of Technology



Simulation, Collaboration


Background: Contemporary health services increasingly call for teamwork and interprofessional collaboration, though undergraduate curricula provide few opportunities for students to develop the necessary skills. This article presents the results of an innovative pilot project focusing on providing an interprofessional clinical learning experience for students using the virtual world of Second Life.

Methods and Findings: A pilot project was implemented and tested on a small group of students studying at two institutions in four healthcare programs. Qualitative descriptive methods were employed to analyze semi-structured interview transcripts. The evaluation revealed that participants were easily able to manage the technologies associated with Second Life and the learning and teaching strategies were engaging and useful. While the project provided students with an opportunity to learn more about the role of other health professionals and their contribution to patient care, it will require some development before it achieves in full the aim to promote interprofessional collaboration.

Conclusions: Simulation in virtual worlds such as Second Life offers promise in the area of interprofessional education.






Articles: Empirical Research