Thursday, February 23, 2012

Respondus Lockdown Browser

RHCHP Faculty access will be available shortly

I recently attended a webinar on Respondus Lockdown Browser which was very informative. Respondus Lockdown Browser is a custom browser that prevents students from interacting with other programs and locks them into the exam until they submit it for grading.


- Lockdown browser can be applied to one quiz at a time.

- Lockdown browser setting is located in the Restrictions tab under Security options.

- All settings will be applied to the quiz in the lockdown browser.

- Links can be used in a quiz for students to click on to direct them to a page for viewing. All links, back and forward buttons will be disabled on that page.

- Recommend to give students a practice test before administering an exam. This will give students an opportunity to download the browser and practice taking the exam without having to worry about a grade.


- Students are unable to access the quiz without lockdown browser installed. They will be given a link to download lockdown browser.

- Students can install lockdown browser on their local computer. They are able to install on multiple computers. Internet Explorer must be installed on PC’s and Safari must be installed on Mac’s for lockdown browser to work.

- The menu bar is not available, such as file, edit, back, forward, maximize or minimize. Students are unable to print or right click. Keyboard shortcuts, such as copy/paste, are unavailable.

- If students try to exit during an exam, they will get a warning “You must finish this exam before you exit.” This helps to increase completion rates.

- Screen capture software, such as Snagit, is disabled. Lockdown browser also prevents students from visiting other websites, accessing other applications, such as skype, other instant messaging programs, and browsers.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thoughts on IMSH 2012

The 2012 International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare was held at the San Diego Convention Center in late January. This was my first IMSH conference and wasn't sure what to expect. The world of nursing simulations, and in particular virtual sims, is all new. I was amazed at just how extensive the development of serious gaming has become. This post will share some of the highlights of the two days spent.

My attendance at the conference stems from the discovery phase of a project currently in the works dealing with virtual nursing simulations. I've seen a number of avatar-based sims using primarily Second Life. But the Second Life learning curve is intimidating to many, and students with limited time may revolt at the required hours for orientation to the most basic movements.

I therefore focused my efforts on game-based environments and their use in the classroom.

Northeastern University has developed a Web-based virtual patient environment. When developing the environment they kept in mind the importance of ease of use by students. They wanted a realistic environment that was instructional, engaging and that provided plenty of feedback. They used SMEs to develop a decision tree when interacting with the virtual patients. The use of virtual patients allowed for the tracking of individual performances by students.

Another institution has created a virtual text-based environment. The Comprehensive Disease Management
course is four credits and involves didactic teaching, active learning, and nonlinear course tools. A facilitator guide provided framework for the courses. Rubrics were put in place for many of the processes. One goal of the course was to bridge the gap between classroom and practice. One outcome that stood out was how Millennials embraced the use of  virtual technologies. Grant funding was found for the third party Sim provider. The grant covered the development of ten sim cases. Course faculty provided the SME knowledge. The cases were modified to focus on pharmacists, provider, and patient interventions. Another cost savings was developing the cases in Word and letting the vendor translate into the game environment. Each sim has a text-based scenario and contains photos of patient and family, and social and medical histories. There is an interview component with audio and video. A set of questions allows the student to select a response video.

Without doubt, the most informative session was the IMSH Arcade Games and Showcase. Vendors were allowed one laptop or display. Participants could then sit down and discuss products without all the flash associated with the vendor fair. Several virtual sims stood out, including one from Lockheed Martin that featured a customizable clinical setting. You could select the patient type (gender, race, age), the degree of activity (slow or fast-paced), room environment, equipment, even the placement of the bed in relation to the door.

The University of Miami had recreated the Joplin tornado disaster and developed a triage training program. You controlled a character and were required to interact with the injured, performing triage and making decisions.

Health Partners Institute for Medial Education has developed a low-cost medication dispensing system and EMR for training students on bedside medication dispensing. The system consists of a cart, medication drawers, and used an EMR to track progress notes, lab reports, and more.

And to top off these technologies, I brought back video of a tabletop mannequin featuring layered construction. The system used an overhead projector. Then, using an iPad stylus, a student could peel away the chest skin revealing the rib cage. Peel away another layer revealed organs, including a beating heart. And so forth. The primary use is for surgical training but I could see potential for anatomy classes as well.