The University of Plymouth Sexual Health SIM experience in Second Life: evaluation and reflections after 1 year

Maged N Kamel Boulos, Susan Toth-Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Virtual environments such as Second Life are increasingly used as venues for public health education. This paper reports an evaluation of a sexual health project in Second Life, designed to provide education about sexually transmitted infections, prevention of unintended pregnancy and promotion of equalitarian sexual relationships.

METHODS: The University of Plymouth Sexual Health SIM provides a wide variety of educational experiences, including opportunities to test knowledge of sexual health through quizzes and games, web resources integrated within the virtual context and live seminars on sexual health topics. Primary methods of evaluation consisted of a survey (n = 135) and traffic statistics on the virtual programme.

RESULTS: Evaluation results indicated that the Sexual Health SIM was positively viewed by its audience and fostered development of a vibrant virtual community.

CONCLUSIONS: While these results are promising, it is important to keep in mind the many challenges of delivering and evaluating the impact of educational programmes within 3-D virtual environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-88
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Information and Libraries Journal
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Measurement
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Great Britain
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unplanned
  • Public Health
  • Questionnaires
  • Sexuality
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Time Factors
  • Universities
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Young Adult

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