The JMIR has just publised a review article by Margaret Hansen on the use of Virtual Worlds in healthcare education:
The author provides a critical overview of three-dimensional (3-D) virtual worlds and “serious gaming” that are currently being developed and used in healthcare professional education and medicine. The relevance of this e-learning innovation for teaching students and professionals is debatable and variables influencing adoption, such as increased knowledge, self-directed learning, and peer collaboration, by academics, healthcare professionals, and business executives are examined while looking at various Web 2.0/3.0 applications. There is a need for more empirical research in order to unearth the pedagogical outcomes and advantages associated with this e-learning technology. A brief description of Roger’s Diffusion of Innovations Theory and Siemens’ Connectivism Theory for today’s learners is presented as potential underlying pedagogical tenets to support the use of virtual 3-D learning environments in higher education and healthcare.