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Title: Competency based assessment using virtual reality (VERT) : is it a realistic possibility?
Author: Flinton, David Maurice
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 6363
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2015
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The education of the radiography profession is based within higher education establishments, yet a critical part of all radiography programmes is the clinical component where students learn the practical skills of the profession. Assessments therefore not only have to assess a student’s knowledge, but also their clinical competence and core skills in line with both Health and Care Professions Council and the Society and College of Radiographers requirements. This timely thesis examines the possibility of using the Virtual Environment for RadioTherapy (VERT) as an assessment tool to evaluate a student’s competence so giving the advantage of a standard assessment and relieving time pressures in the clinical department. A mixed methods approach was taken which can be described as a Quantitative Qualitative design with the emphasis being on the Quantitative element; a so called QUAN  qual design. The quantitative evaluation compared two simulations, one in the virtual reality environment and another in the department using a real treatment machine. Students were asked to perform two electron setups in each simulation; the order being randomly decided and so the study would be described as a randomised cross-over design. Following this, qualitative data was collected in student focus groups to explore student perspectives in more depth. Findings indicated that the performance between the two simulators was significantly different, p < 0∙001; the virtual simulation scoring significantly lower than the hospital based simulation overall and in virtually all parameters being assessed. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data supported this finding and identified 4 main themes; equipment use, a lack of reality, learning opportunities and assessment of competence. One other sub-theme identified for reality was that of the environment and senses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available