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Virtual Worlds for Medical Physics Education

r rademacher*, r rademacher , University of Kentucky Department of Radiation Medicine, Virtual Worlds have been successfully used in various educational fields. In this talk, potential uses for virtual worlds in the field of medical physics education will be presented. An overview of past projects will be discussed and different virtual worlds modalities presented, such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The main subject of the talk will be a) how to leverage existing video game design technology in creating a proposed virtual worlds to teach radiation shielding design, b) how to integrate curriculum design into the creation of such a world, and c) how medical physics education can benefit from the three-dimensional and collaborative nature of virtual worlds.


(Sunday, 7/29/2018) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: To discuss how virtual world can be used for medical physics education

Methods: Using the authors experience in the field of educational virtual worlds, the design of a virtual world for education will be presented in terms of three documents: a learning design document which outlines the educational goals, a technical design document which outlines the computational goals, and a game design document which outlines student/player interaction within the virtual world. These documents will be applied to the design of an educational virtual world meant to teach radiation shielding design in the construction of a LINAC vault within the context of a functioning clinic .

Results: The three design documents listed above will be presented as well as a mock-up of the virtual world. It will be seen that using modern video game technology as well as a small team of students, the construction of such a world can be done in the span of a year. Further, given the network and collaborative nature of the project, this virtual world can be accessed by all members of the medical physics community, be they students, professors, or practitioners.

Conclusion: Virtual Worlds offer many advantages in an educational setting, such as native three-dimensional environments and collaborative learning. In using a virtual world to teach shielding design, these two advantages are at the forefront since the three-dimensional nature of shielding design is one of the more difficult aspects in learning how to do it in practice. And being collaborative means that the student will not be alone in their learning experience but can be accompanied by other students, as well as teachers, during their practice sessions.




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