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Competency based Assessment Using a Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy

By David Flinton


AbstractVirtual reality in the form of VERT (Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy) has been used for radiography training since 2007. The system is a back projection system that allows the user to work within a 3D radiotherapy treatment room interacting with the room via a machine hand pendant which allows full control of the unit as in real life. With the demands within the profession and Higher Education both constantly changing we have to constantly re-evaluate our teaching and assessments in order to give the students the best learning experience whilst measuring their competencies against set professional criteria.MethodThe study was a mixed methods design consisting of a randomized crossover study of 52 subjects undertaking the Radiotherapy programme at City University who were asked to undertake a simulated electron setup on both VERT and a phantom in a radiotherapy treatment unit. This was followed by focus group interviews to consider the student's perspective of using VERT in this way. Subjects also completed an immersive tendencies questionnaire and presence questionnaires.ResultsThe results presented are from an interim analysis based on their first setup. Results indicate significantly better performance on the real treatment unit (5.23) compared to VERT (3.62) p<0.001. The focus groups also reported that they felt VERT was not suitable as a measure of competency, but felt it could be used very effectively as a training tool for setups if the final assessment was on the treatment unit

Publisher: The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.procs.2013.11.049
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