Blog #InnovationMonth – AI-Powered Virtual Simulated Placement Learning: Immersive Learning in Ruskin Row

7 May 2024

In this blog Siân Shaw, Associate Professor of Digital Innovation in Nursing explores Anglia Ruskin University’s innovative solution, Ruskin Row, a simulated placement learning environment leveraging AI software to foster immersive experiences for student nurses across distant campuses while meeting NMC standards.

A quest for innovation led us, at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), to a ground-breaking solution: Ruskin Row. With 750 eager first-year adult, child and mental health student nurses scattered across three campuses, each a daunting 50 miles apart, the challenge of delivering a simulated community placement (SPL) loomed large. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Ruskin Row emerged as a beacon of possibility, a simulated placement learning haven where learning transcends distance, guided by the principles of repetition, feedback, and reflection mandated by the NMC standards. In this immersive world, students embark on a journey of discovery, honing their skills, and embracing the essence of safe, effective practice.

Picture this: James Perry, an academic at ARU, stepped into the shoes of a charge nurse and nominated person, spearheaded an unforgettable placement. Alongside a dedicated team of academics turned practice supervisors, students delved into the virtual community, meeting  AI generated residents and immersing themselves in the intricate tapestry of family health. From children’s well-being and safeguarding to mental health challenges and caring for the elderly, each encounter painted a vivid picture of authentic nursing. The experience was interspersed with encounters with real service users and members of the interprofessional team.

In crafting Ruskin Row, AI software emerged as a game-changer, reshaping the landscape of virtual SPL environments. With AI software, ARU embarked on a journey of streamlined creativity, crafting immersive simulations to captivate and educate. Tailored to meet diverse learning needs, we used,  a treasure trove of customisable tools, empowering educators to breathe life into their teaching visions. VEED’s scalability ensured seamless experiences for a large student cohort.

Our approach featured a diverse cast of AI-generated avatars, portraying roles from service users to student nurses to bring to life scenarios written by the simulation team, service users and the wider interprofessional team including teachers and social workers. We chose avatars, representing various accents and ethnicities to ensure inclusivity. Customisable backgrounds, audio, and video options, along with a vast library of effects available in Veed.oi, ensured  that the scenarios are both captivating and informative.” The AI generated scenarios once created were embedded in Canvas, our Learning Management system (LMS). This enabled us to use the formative assessment features in Canvas to track student nurse engagement and activity within Ruskin Road. Students worked in shift teams, engaged in peer review and feedback and were supported by a practice supervisor.

Hilda MUST Nutritional Assessment AI generated scenario using VEED.IO. with pedagogic overlay, Watch here Scenario Avatar overlaid onto a real service user’s home, Watch here

Gone are the days of cumbersome technical hurdles; AI paves the way for seamless creation, allowing educators to focus their energies on what truly matters: enriching student experiences. Using AI, we were able to unleash the power of interactivity, inviting students to engage in learning adventures. Whether navigating through interprofessional realistic patient scenarios or delving into the intricacies of complex healthcare environments, AI facilitated active participation and critical thinking development.

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