360 Degrees of Learning: Using Immersive Virtual Learning Technologies and Approaches

This webinar is part of our OLC Innovate 2021 Best-in-Track (Instructional Technologies and Tools) summer webinar series!

The global pandemic has prompted many higher education institutions to embrace new technologies and approaches to virtual teaching. The USAHS Center for Innovative Clinical Practice (CICP) has shifted from facilitating campus-based learning to becoming invaluable in transferring immersive and interactive activities leveraging both existing and new technologies. 

We used 360° technology, interactive “choose your own pathway” platforms, and our learning management system to create personalized experiences that immerse our students into authentic learning environments such as hospitals, educational settings, homes, and workspaces. This presentation will demonstrate the multiple ways we have implemented 360 technology to successfully engage students and achieve learning outcomes. We will demonstrate how we have overcome the obstacles presented in the areas of home safety evaluations, skills practice and demonstration, workplace ergonomics, and inpatient safety considerations using immersive learning approaches. Participants will be able to explore environments, select learning pathways, and experience the personalized learning media and feedback that is given to students.

Participants will see examples of how 360 technology has been utilized to immerse our students into diverse environments despite the challenges presented by social distancing precautions. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in a virtual 360 experience to discover “hotspots”, clues, and embedded media that guide their learning experience. Participants will “choose their own destiny” within a virtual simulation to better understand the personalized student experience. We will discuss the future of 360 technology, simulation gaming, virtual reality, and personalized learning pathways in hybrid and online programs as a method to enhance the learning experience.

Speaker Bio


Dr. Elisabeth McGee
Director of Simulation Experience and CICP Operations – University of St. Augustine

Dr. Elisabeth McGee began her career as a physical and occupational therapist. She joined USAHS in 2005 and currently serves as Director of Simulation Experience and CICP Operations. She has experience in simulation, educational technology, academia, and clinical practice. She currently serves as the Vice Chair for the Florida Healthcare Simulation Alliance Affinity Group through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. She has participated in key educational technology initiatives that revolve around effective simulated learning environments, online learning platforms, educational technology pilot processes, 3D printing, robotics, and virtual reality.
Mechelle Roy
Clinical Simulation Coordinator – University of St. Augustine

Mechelle spent 8 years in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman and segued into simulation with the State University of NY in 2012. She is currently the Clinical Simulation Coordinator with the University of St. Augustine’s Center for Innovative Clinical Practice in St. Augustine, Florida working toward her degree in Instructional Design. She is currently a certified Operations Specialist and Healthcare Simulation Educator.
Erolle Dennis-Garner
Clinical Simulation Specialist – University of St. Augustine

Erolle Dennis-Garner has been in healthcare simulation for 6 years. She is currently a clinical simulation specialist for the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in Austin, Texas. Her experience includes working with various allied health professions and medical students and residents. She assists with developing low fidelity task trainers and 3D prints.
Mauricio Viana
Clinical Simulation Specialist – University of St. Augustine

Mauricio Viana joined the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2019. He currently serves as the Clinical Simulation Specialist for the Center for Innovative Practices in the Miami Campus. He has a B.S. in biomedical engineering and is currently pursuing his M.S. in mechanical engineering.

Dr. Maria Puzziferro
Dean, Digital Learning and Innovation – University of St. Augustine

Dr. Maria Puzziferro’s experience as a transformational academic leader, researcher, and teacher spans more than 25 years at public and private institutions in roles related to the advancement of innovative teaching and learning approaches. She has served as a President, Provost, and Dean with extensive experience developing, launching, and operating online and blended programs.
Dr. Emily Frank
Manager of Simulation Education and Innovation Initiatives – University of St. Augustine

Dr. Emily Frank served as full time occupational therapy faculty at The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) for three years prior to joining the USAHS Center for Innovative Clinical Practice (CICP) team as the Manager of Simulation Education and Innovation Initiatives. She currently assists in providing leadership and coordination for the integration of simulation approaches across the USAHS program curriculum, including interprofessional education initiatives. She works collaboratively with the CICP team to develop educationally impactful simulation events using media-rich content that aligns with institutional, program, and course objectives.

Derek Dudek
Clinical Simulation Specialist – University of St. Augustine

Derek Dudek is originally from Michigan and brings a wide array of experience to USAHS from a journey that began in the US Army and continued through the corporate industrial world into show business and, later, health care and education. Recent experience at UCSD School of Medicine and Strategic Operations, Inc. has honed his skill in Medical Simulation education.