SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Published Conference Proceedings - Paper
September 2010

Pandemic planning: from paper to pixels

Mooney, J & Driscol, P & Griffiths, L 2010, Pandemic planning: from paper to pixels, in: 'ALT-C 2010 'Into something rich and strange' - making sense of the sea-change', Nuffield Press, Nottingham, UK, p.33.


Teaching pandemic planning: from paper to pixels

Emergency Medical Planning training is generally facilitated using a problem based learning (PBL) approach where groups of medical staff carry out an investigative analysis of an emergency scenario using a physical tabletop model.  This technique has been proven to be highly successful yet students feel that the “standard scenarios” offered by such training systems do not represent reality closely enough. The research presented here describes the development and use of interactive software tailored to a real world environment to facilitate PBL for major incident planning.

When the Nintendo Wii handset’s infra-red tracking capability is connected to a computer and projector it is known to provide an impromptu interactive whiteboard facility comparable to proprietary wall-mounted solutions, yet readily portable and for a fraction of the cost.  We developed, to be utilised with this presentation technology, a piece of bespoke Flash based software to enhance current  tabletop exercises for studying pandemic Emergency Planning based on Department of Health data for influenza incidence within our Hospital Trust’s own locality. 

Students using the software tool are faced with a scenario where parameters change in real (or accelerated) time thus mirroring a real life situation and testing their theoretical and existing practical knowledge.  Preliminary findings suggest that this form of technology mediated problem based learning is at least comparable with the physical tabletop model whilst adding an element of realism which cannot be achieved without the technology.

This exercise is to be formally run later this year for the Hospital’s Executive Planning Board to develop the Trust’s formal Pandemic Plan and is a good example of where technology has been used to enhance an established educational technique.

In this hands-on session the authors will run through two typical planning exercises and technologies to highlight the different ways in which interactive technologies can be used to facilitate and enhance problem base learning.  Through the use of an interactive table top, participants will be able to see the benefits of multi-touch environments for group work.


SEEK Members

External Authors

Jane Mooney

Pete Driscol

Publication Details

Conference Proceedings
Mooney, & Driscol, & Griffiths, L eds. 2010, ALT-C 2010 'Into something rich and strange' - making sense of the sea-change, Nuffield Press, Nottingham, UK, p.33.