Welcome to RouyerDesign. Here you will find updates regarding my research and development in Conversational AI systems for use in bilingual healthcare education.
Based at Pacific University's, College of Healthcare Professions, our mission is to reduce healthcare inequities among vulnerable Latino communities through the Spanish for Healthcare program, which provides a foundational introduction to Latino healthcare issues, critical cultural understanding, and Spanish communication strategies in clinical healthcare settings. This work is accomplished through the innovative use of a virtual patient-based avatar system, interactive videos, technology-mediated teaching practices, and essential connections to the Latino community.
Below you will find a list of current and future projects- all in a state of continuous research and development. Feel free to connect with me through LinkedIn for more information.
— Adjunct Instructor and Instructional Media Development, Pacific University, Hillsboro Oregon
— Instructional Systems Designer, Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham Oregon
The Virtual Patient Based Learning Model (VPBLM) implements a set of research-informed instructional design strategies that blend current state-of-the-art instructional technology with online teaching practices that promote language fluency and cultural competence in a complex Spanish for Medical Professional learning environment.
In this process, healthcare students explore core cultural concepts, engage with voice-enabled Spanish-speaking virtual patients, and then connect practiced communication skills in a clinical or community healthcare setting.
What is the need?
- In many healthcare settings, critical language and cultural barriers exists between patients with limited English proficiency and care providers. These language barriers negatively impact access to quality care and patient safety.
- The best-identified remedy to limit language related healthcare inequities is the promotion of direct bilingual interactions between healthcare providers and their patients.
- The goal of this project is to explore and test innovative and meaningful solutions to second language learning challenges within complex healthcare education environments for the advancement of bilingual education and cultural competence for healthcare professionals.
What does it solve?
Several years of program implementation have exposed the four important needs as evidenced through student feedback, instructor experience, and instructional design support. The goal of this project is to find innovative and meaningful solutions to language learning challenges through a systematic research design process to achieve better context, relevance, practice, and community.
- Relevance — Spanish for Medical Professionals program serves eight disciplines. Unfortunately, the majority of textbooks offer a one size fits all curriculum that expose students to a range of medical vocabulary and practices not relevant to their professional discipline.
- Engagement — Second language instructional activities focus to heavily written response which is important, but oral repetition is needed for strengthening listening and speaking activities.
- Community — Interaction with Virtual Patients offer advantages of instructional flexibility in a low anxiety environment, however the practical application of language skills have to be development with direct communication with Spanish speaking communities.
How does it work?
VPBLM incorporates several instructional strategies based on research in design principles targeting student engagement, motivation, and game-based learning.
- Exploración — The exploration section introduces students to a set of core communication goals and concepts with emphasis on Latino patient cultural norms. Activities include review of important phrases, grammar lessons, and demonstration videos with a practical narrative. Additional side bar exploration is available to students that need further grammar support.
- Practica — The practice section presents opportunities for student to practice key phrases and vocabulary through real-time voice interaction with a virtual patient. Students practice across three levels of difficulty based on pre-assessment score. Each level regulates the difficulty, speed, and feedback.
- Conexión — The connection section presents opportunities for students to develop new vocabulary and practice dialog with other students. In a meaningful learning environment, the understanding of concepts and opportunities for practice can only get your so far. Connecting and extending that knowledge through person-to-person interactions brings home the full learning experience with further opportunities to extend into real-world scenarios.
The following video shows the virtual patient interaction in real-time using GoReact as video capture and feedback platform. This system can be used with any video-based communication tool, including FlipGrid, VoiceThread or Zoom.
Where can this go?
The Virtual Patient Based Learning Module follows an instructional design process of continuous improvement, testing, and exploration. The system is poised to be expanded into other second language learning systems not limited to Spanish and can easily venture into other healthcare communication scenarios including gerontology, psychology, administration, front-desk, community healthcare workers, etc.