A study has shown that advantageous outcomes are achieved when students of optometry use a simulated learning environment to gain skills in clinical refraction.
Simulated learning or ‘serious games’, well known for training pilots in commercial aviation and the military, are now being used in a diverse range of fields to enhance learning.
The Brien Holden Vision Institute has developed a Virtual Refractor to augment traditional learning and teach approaches to refraction, with the intention of increasing the speed and accuracy of clinical subjective refraction.
Determining a patient’s refractive error is not only critical for optometrists to accurately dispense corrective lenses but the procedure may help to detect underlying ocular pathology.
Simulated learning or ‘serious games’, well known for training pilots in commercial aviation and the military, are now being used in a diverse range of fields to enhance learning
Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) and colleagues from Queensland University of Technology (Australia), conducted a study on 4th and 5th year optometry students to evaluate the influence simulated learning environments can have on clinical refraction performance.
The case-control study, which involved 20 students using the ‘Virtual Refractor’ technology and 20 students receiving traditional training, found that simulated learning environments “can positively influence clinical subjective refraction outcomes for less experienced optometry students and may be of benefit in increasing the skills of novice refractionists to levels appropriate for commencing supervised clinical interactions.”
Study co-author, Neilsen De Souza, Global Business Director at BHVI said: “The Virtual Refractor is not only an effective learning and teaching tool but the simulated learning environment allows us to remotely track the process of clinical refraction undertaken by a user and identify steps that have been skipped or performed incorrectly.
“This innovation allows us to deliver targeted training interventions to ensure refraction is performed accurately and efficiently. It will also allow us to understand how refraction is performed in different countries across the world. We hope that this will lead to better student engagement but also cost savings for schools with less student supervision and use of clinical facilities when learning refraction for the first time.” Visit virtualrefractor.com