1. Perry, William MA, RN

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The Internet has brought the spirit of global communication and collaboration to nurses and other healthcare professionals in ways never before believed possible. These resources are offered to expand your opportunities for discussion, reference, education, and research.


Informatics encompasses knowledge management. The following sites illustrate tools, tips, and techniques for acquiring information and evaluating aspects of healthcare and the Internet.


I'm not an avid fan of computer games, but I am fascinated watching family and friends who spend hours in front of them. What is the key to their allure? Can we use some of these qualities to provide Web-based learning that will keep students engaged for hours? So much of the continuing education offered on the Web is of the read-the-text, take-the-test variety. is a commercial site that sells a variety of training "games" on a number of subjects. There is a white paper on the site at that addresses some of the theory behind game-based learning. Multiple sensory input, feedback, reinforcement, simulation, and cognitive apprenticeship amplify and accelerate the learning experience.


Cognitive apprenticeship is a model whereby students have the opportunity to observe expert performance of a process, receive coaching as they proceed through the process as well as opportunities to reflect and explore. For more on this approach, see: A Design Framework For Electronic Cognitive Apprenticeship (


Designing Effective Learning Environments: Cognitive Apprenticeship Models


Simulation and competition, whether human or computer based, seems to be a key element in the popularity of this approach. The Encyclopedia of Educational Technology at San Diego State University ( defines games in terms of enjoyment and competition and simulation as an opportunity to explore options within a situation.




Cyberounds hosts a "Cardio Country Club" where participants play golf either individually or in teams and gather points as they answer questions correctly. The Interactive Media Laboratory at Dartmouth Medical School has a series of outstanding interactive multimedia continuing medical education programs, two of which are "Regimental Surgeon" and "SimTrauma." The software can be downloaded to your personal computer, but be forewarned: the files are large.


National Teaching & Learning Forum


How about creating your own version of the game show "Jeopardy?" Download templates from the Supplemental Materials Archive of The National Teaching & Learning Forum ( The downloads are part of Volume 10 Number 1.


Do It Now Foundation


A different twist on the plain multiple-choice quiz is available at the Do It Now Foundation ( The Fun & Games section offers consumer-oriented healthcare information about drugs and alcohol to a youth-oriented audience. The difference is in the syntax and commentary that accompany the questions and their explanations.




Guided Internet-based exploration is the key theme of the WebQuest. Initially developed in 1995 at San Diego State University by Bernie Dodge, it is a "an inquiry-oriented activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web. WebQuests are designed to use learners' time well, to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.''


Maybe I don't have to just read the text and take the test anymore. How do I explain I'm not playing games, I'm studying!