Teaching with Virtual Simulations

Virtual simulations are an exceptional way for online students to get experience applying what they have learned to real-life situations. My colleagues and I created 20-minute virtual simulations that had our online students treat patients for cancer and end-stage liver failure, perform a liver

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Image of a test dummy in a hospital bed

Four Strategies for Developing Student Simulations

Higher education has traditionally taken students out of the “real world” by placing them in the artificial world of a classroom to learn. But the digital revolution made it possible to reintroduce real-world learning through student simulations. Instructors can now record videos of hypothetical

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Experiential Learning: Less Talk, More Action

Experiential learning is “the process whereby knowledge is created through transformation of experience” (Kolb, 1984, p. 38). The benefits of experiential learning include increasing student engagement, supporting various learning styles, and fostering the link between theory and practice.

Shifting from traditional educational approaches can be

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Let’s Play a Game: Student-Created Simulations

Simulations are an opportunity for experiential learning, but faculty who use them usually adopt simulations that they created or found. An alternative is to have students create the simulation themselves as a learning activity.

What advantages do student-created simulations offer? When you play

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The Mission to Mars Project: A Virtual Reality Learning Experience

Many institutions are experimenting with virtual reality (VR) to provide students with simulations that apply their theoretical learning to practice. We developed a VR experience, adapted from Joyner and Allen’s (2015) case study “Farming in Space? Developing a Sustainable Food Supply on Mars” and inspired

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Supporting Students in Using Virtual Science Labs

The shift to remote learning during the pandemic gave faculty the opportunity to explore new technology and pedagogical approaches to teaching science-related courses. Science courses in particular can be challenging to host online without wet labs to provide students with hands-on experience. But virtual science

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360 Degrees of Learning: Using Immersive Virtual Learning for Teaching

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders, educational content delivery at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) transitioned from face-to-face learning to a virtual learning model in March 2020. With this new virtual environment, students at USAHS had limited opportunities

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Mixed-Reality Virtual Simulation: Where Should You Start?

Recently, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and Mursion, a well-known commercial vendor for virtual reality training, forged a new partnership in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (AACTE, 2020). The pandemic has driven this kind of mixed-reality virtual simulation into the

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Simulations in Online Courses: Integrating Synchronous Experiential Learning Opportunities for Students in the Virtual Classroom

Educators have long praised the value of simulations and role-playing exercises and the impact of those experiential activities on student learning. As Bjorn Billhardt (2005) explains, “Simulations offer huge advantages over lectures, handbooks, or on-site trainers. They engage students while helping them retain and apply

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How to Add Immersive Simulations to an Online Course

Saint Leo University’s master’s degree programs in Education and Educational Specialist both have qualitative research courses that students find challenging. The courses are especially challenging for those students enrolled in the online programs where they do not have the opportunity to watch how others conduct

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