Sage Publishing, a global leader in educational and academic publishing, approached Somewhere Else with a view of exploring the potential of immersive technologies for education.
Working with Subject Matter Experts and Higher Education experts, SAGE identified a challenge in psychiatric nursing education : students needed a new way of practicing their soft skills and building their self-confidence before transitioning from the classroom to the hospital.
Somewhere Else’s Approach
Somewhere Else’s mission was to design an experiential learning format to help students nurses in psychiatry develop appropriate and confident patient care behaviour in a safe environment.
Building on a body of research on virtual embodiment by the likes of Mel Slater’s EventLab and Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Somewhere Else opted for a body-swapping format. The experience, co-written with Dr. Sue Barker from Cardiff University, recreates a realistic interaction between a Community Mental Health Nurse and Susan, a patient with severe clinical depression.
In this immersive role-play exercise, the user successively embodies the nurse and the patient to build empathy, practice adapting to a particular patient’s situation and develop self-awareness.
As part of a UCL MedTech Research on Virtual Embodiment led by Alice Jane, students from the UCL MedTech Society had the opportunity to experience the Susan Project.
The study’s aim was to measure the effect of virtual embodiment on participants’ self-reported empathy, self-awareness and likelihood to change their behaviour in future similar situations.
Technical Development: Mbryonic
Lead SME: Dr. Sue Barker
Voice-Over: VOICEOVERS UK
STUDIO: Somewhere Else