AN EDUCATIONAL SIMULATOR FOR SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH TEACHING: THE EFFECT OF CHEMICAL AND HORMONAL FAMILY PLANNING METHODS VIEWED IN THREE-DIMENSIONAL ENVIRONMENT
Currently, the functionality and the pedagogical potential of educative software have become in a strong instrument on the development of activities dedicated to learning. New technologies offers a lot of tools: adaptive virtual learning environments, virtual worlds, educational simulators that support teaching-learning processes in several areas.
Educational simulators immerse the user into a learning environment in which it can guide and monitor its learning based on cases, tasks and problems, throught interaction with characters and objects. Health and Medicine are areas that have now incorpored the peculiarities of this tool to strengthen its formation processes.
Now there are applications that support several areas of medicine like the H.M.E.S. (Herramienta Multimedia para la Estimulación Sensoriomotriz), developed by the University of Murcia in 2003. It is a kind of software that supports the sensorimotor stimulation of children with some multiple disabilities degree. Another remarkable tool is the SES for Sciences: Biology, Ecology. Simulator developed by the Sunflower Learning Ltd. This application permits to simulate the ecological balance of a determinate habitat, with predation as the main form of interaction between living creatures. According to its contents, it’s focused to sixth basic education degree for natural sciences area.
However, technological tools have not yet been incorporated strategically into sexuality and family planning area. The lack of previous information to use contraceptives causes that a lot of women around the world abandon its use, put their trust on information provided by personal opinions or get limited information about family planning from media.
Therefore, it became necessary to develop a tool that takes advantages of actual computing resources and offers an effective solution to the problem; likewise, the proposed research question was: how to design and develop an educative simulator in 3D (Three Dimensions) environment, which allows visualizing the effect of chemical and hormonal contraceptives over male and female endocrine system?
The “Simulator to visualize the effect of chemical and hormonal contraceptives on male and female endocrine system in 3D environment” developed essentially on JAVA language with JEE5 (JAVA Enterprise Edition 5) specification, involves the features and benefits of educational simulator to present graphically on three-dimensional the action mechanisms of chemical and hormonal female contraceptives that can be found in market and a kind of hormonal male contraceptive that is currently in development.
This educational simulator, allows to student solving problems raised by teacher under the guidelines of the constructivist pedagogical paradigm, using diverse resources like three-dimensional simulation supported by an intelligent agent, a theoretical system where student can find basic information about chemical and hormonal contraceptives, to interact with other users through a chat, a wiki, and a forum, a content manager that permits to upload and download files that complement its learning.
Surely, an educative simulator is the technological tool which best uses technological resources to facilitate learning and to enhance the teaching processes, as well as to contribute to reflections about the medical and legal implications of the simulations that could be difficult to study in real situations.