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Birley Place: a virtual community for the delivery of health and social care education
  1. David J Wright,
  2. Leah Greene,
  3. Kirsten Jack,
  4. Eleanor Hannan,
  5. Claire Hamshire
  1. Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr David J Wright, Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M15 6BH, UK; d.j.wright{at}mmu.ac.uk

Abstract

Virtual simulation can provide high-quality learning experiences through innovative and engaging activities while also overcoming some of the constraints associated with physical simulation. We developed a virtual community, called Birley Place, to facilitate simulation-based learning activities. Adopting a novel approach, we modelled the virtual community on the large metropolitan city in which our institution is based. Publicly available health and population data were used to ensure that the homes, businesses and services in the community were representative of distinct socioeconomic areas of our city. The residents of the virtual community were also matched with the real-world areas based on health and lifestyle data. Our virtual community is used to facilitate learning activities across our health and social care degree programmes. In this article, we summarise how we developed Birley Place, before providing one example of how it is used to facilitate the delivery of a large-scale interprofessional education project. Birley Place is an innovative tool for delivering online and virtual simulation. The use of this virtual community facilitates learners’ understanding of the connection between settings and health status.

  • simulation
  • education
  • interprofessional education
  • computer simulation

Data availability statement

Data sharing is not applicable as no data sets are generated and/or analysed for this article.

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Data availability statement

Data sharing is not applicable as no data sets are generated and/or analysed for this article.

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @djwright561, @LGreene68, @Heijinxs, @EHannan14, @clairehamshire

  • Contributors The initial idea for the article emerged following discussions between all authors, and all authors contributed to the planning, writing and editing of this article. DJW, LG and KJ conducted the literature search for the article. DJW was responsible for writing the full draft, with LG, KJ, EH and CH all contributing to editing and revising the manuscript. EH was responsible for creating the figure. DJW is the guarantor for the article.

  • Funding The development of interprofessional education within Birley Place was supported by funding from Health Education England.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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