Data Collection

Apologies for the delays in posting anything, although I’m pleased to say it’s been because of the amount of progress.

Starting in the next couple of weeks, I will be collecting data from 2nd and 3rd year Australian nursing students who have very kindly agreed to participate.

Here’s a screen shot of the final artefact as a taste:


It’s Ethics Time!

Cursor_and_National_Ethics_Application_FormA quick update: I am in the process of finalising my ethics submission, with the hope that my HREC is able to approve it well before the end of the year.

I know most people can experience nausea when contemplating an ethics application, but I have to say I’ve found the whole process invaluable in getting my head around some of the intricacies of the research.

I also need to give some kudos to the NEAF online ethics application system – it’s far from perfect but it does make the process a lot smoother than it used to be.

Progress Update

A totally non-related picture. I just love sheds.

A totally non-related picture. I just love sheds.

The past year has seen some good progress, but not of the variety worthy of sharing here. The reality is that I have been knee deep in Ethics applications, working on my PhD literature review and working as a sessional tutor in a related subject.

Further exciting updates are dependant on:

1. Securing funding to build the second iteration of the virtual ward. This will include an in-depth set of clinical / behavioural pathways forming a longer clinical story for the student to explore;

2. Approval of the ethics application for the research, and;

3. Getting the research / data collection completed in the first half of 2016

Thanks to a great suggestion from my supervisors (thanks Linda, Moira and Patrea), I’ve also started documenting in more depth the process of my research. A first step in this is the proposed establishment of a podcast looking at the intersection of technology, health and education. Titled Future Static, it will take a very in-depth look, with extensive interviews, at particular topics in the area.

When the first episode is completed prior to the end of the year, it will be posted here, or you can go to the standalone podcast website here.

Prototype Draft 1

Really excited with the work the Oztron have done. The video below provides an overview of the first draft of the prototype. Please set the video to full screen so you can read the dialogue. The dialogue itself is rudimentary – the clinical conversations will form part of my PhD research and weren’t in scope for the prototype.

Prototype art update 3 – characters

Here is an update from Alex with feedback below from David;


Hi Alex – looks great. On posture, it’s about right, just needs to look a little more natural as far as support behind him. Here’s an example:​ – essentially the bed and pillow are further up the patient’s back.

Great job


Sample correspondence

Here is an example of correspondence between Alex (animator/designer) and myself(project manager).


Hey mate,
hope alls well. Here things are going alright. Been messing around with Unity a bit. Found a lot of information on light mapping in Unity and yeah you can do quite a lot with it to make things look better. Also been cutting poly count on the character model so i should be ready to animate soon. From the notes there is some dialogue so I should just animate the character speaking those words with some gestures, is that right? Will there be audio, because it would be good to have that first? Also do you want an idle animation?




Hi Alex,

All is good thanks.
An idle animation and a chat animation would be great. Is it possible to do a happy chat and a sad chat(nothing too complex, just something that shows the animations can vary depending on the response).
For this version I don’t think you need to worry about synching it to speech too much. I am not sure about the voice – it would be nice to put in there I suppose but there isn’t any room in the budget for a voice actor so perhaps I can try recording some samples and see how it looks for the prototype.

Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions.
Chat soon,
Here is the dialogue;
First dialogue:
Nurse: Hello Mr Smith, how are you feeling / Hi Frank, how’s things? / Hello, I’m here to check your medications
Patient: Hello, I’m doing ok thanks / Have we met? / Ok, are you a nurse?

Second dialogue:
Nurse: I’m just going to review your medications / It’s 10am so it’s medication time / Ready for your pills?
Patient: I seem to rattle with pills / Already? I only had some a couple of hours ago / I’ll need some more water please.

Third dialogue:
Nurse: Do you understand the pills you are taking? / They’re due at 10am, I just checked / No problems, I’ll grab you some water
Patient: I know I take a heart pill.. / Ok, but it seems a bit soon… / Are there any biscuits too?