"Raising awareness of the discrepancy between abstract ethical stands and actual behaviour is one of the big challenges underlying professional education."
“A virtual scenario creates a replicable, controlled and easily manipulable environment that is invaluable in professional development.”
Unlike role play, an immersive virtual environment can combine and select, at will, the appearance of the virtual humans (gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity, social class), a specific professional context (hospital, courtroom, office), and the perspective from which a participant experiences the scenario (self, others, third person).
Immersive virtual reality technology indeed offers the possibility of unique perspective reversal by enabling participants to virtually inhabit the body of their interlocutors. This work has been developed at the Event Lab, University of Barcelona.
ExamplesWe are currently in the process of developing assessment methods for undergraduate medical students at UCL as well as postgraduate professional examinations for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in child safeguarding, paediatric emergencies and behavioural change conversations. With the support of the General Medical Council, we are also considering scenarios that will support the training of doctors giving evidence in court.
Pilot use of an Immersive virtual ethical dilemma in Law and Ethics module: Designed to raise the students’ awareness of the factors that contribute to the discrepancy between abstract ethical stands and actual behaviour, this use of immersive virtual reality technology received enthusiastic feedback from students. A similar integration will be facilitated in other undergraduate modules.
A “Virtual Reality Summer School” bringing together civil servants, corporates and graduate students to understand the potential of and design new Virtual Reality applications supporting their professional development and/or research.