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Saint Leo 360 Podcast

Episode 45: Discussing the ‘Simulated Experiences at Saint Leo’ Technology

Posted by Greg Lindberg on September 28, 2021
Episode 45: Discussing the ‘Simulated Experiences at Saint Leo’ Technology

Download Episode 45 Transcript

speaker 1:
Saint Leo 360, a 360-degree overview of the Saint Leo University community.

Greg Lindberg:
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Saint Leo 360 Podcast. As usual, this is your host here with you, Greg Lindbergh. Here on this episode of the podcast, we are chatting about the simulated experiences at Saint Leo. And if you're not familiar with our simulated experiences technology, this is a very cutting-edge piece of technology that we've offered now for several years here at Saint Leo. And we have a wonderful round table of guests here joining us to discuss simulated experiences. And first, I'd like to welcome Greg Kunzweiler. And Greg is the assistant director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence here at Saint Leo University. Greg, welcome to the podcast.

Greg Kunzweiler:
Thank you, Greg. Thanks for having us.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely, appreciate the time. And then we also have two lovely ladies behind this technology who are known as simulation specialists. And first, I'd like to introduce Emily Kochanski. Emily, welcome to the podcast.

Emily Kochanski:
Thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to be here.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Thank you for joining us. And we also have Samantha Parisi with us. Samantha, welcome.

Samantha Parisi:
Thank you so much for having us Greg, happy to be here.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Thank you as well. So let's go ahead and start this first segment with Greg Kunzweiler here. And Greg, if you just want to explain what the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is, and perhaps what you guys do there?

Greg Kunzweiler:
All right. Well, absolutely. So our Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is fairly new at Saint Leo. We really are dedicated to the advancement of teaching and learning at Saint Leo. So we're all about being a resource for our faculty at Saint Leo, and helping them with teaching and learning at scale at the university. So we help with not only different teaching and learning practices and doing professional development with faculty but we also help implement different teaching and learning tools as well. And that's where the simulated experiences comes in, using the emerging technology and emerging software.

Greg Lindberg:
Gotcha. Very interesting. And then talk to me about your title and your role with the center, what you actually do for the CTLE?

Greg Kunzweiler:
So I am the assistant director. We have a whole team of different individuals from our director, who's Dr. Candace Roberts, and then we also have several faculty developers that help support the faculty as well, along with our simulation team, which has Samantha and Emily, joined with us today. So with my role, I get a chance to do a lot of different things with supporting the faculty as well, but I also oversee this particular program, and so get a chance and privilege enough to work with both Samantha and Emily on this particular program. And we're excited to be able to continue to grow this program not only at Saint Leo, but outside the university as well.

Greg Lindberg:
Right. I see. And let's talk about when the university actually acquired the license to use this technology and how it actually came about?

Greg Kunzweiler:
Absolutely. So before we got the license, our education department probably had been using it for about four years or so. The design in Mursion was actually designed for education and it was designed at UCF. And so but then it was kind of an offshoot and they started the Mursion company. And then a few years ago, the dean of our education services decided that, "You know what, let's go ahead and move forward with getting the license." And with the license, what that does is, allows us to basically do this on our own. Before, what we were doing is we were using Mursion's sim specialists and paying for that.

Greg Kunzweiler:
And now, we've moved to being able to hire our own simulation specialists. And so we have all of that piece of it that goes along with it, plus the freedom to be able to also offer this to other universities and other businesses and companies to be able to do these simulations for them as well.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. Very interesting. And then let's just dive a little further with you into how the technology works. I can certainly ask Samantha and Emily as well, but if you just want to give a brief overview of what this technology is, what it actually looks like?

Greg Kunzweiler:
Yeah, absolutely. So the technology, like we said, we contract with Mursion and they've developed this proprietary software, the simulation software is used. And when we went to implement this, what you have to do is you got to get all the proper equipment to be able to run the simulations. And then they use their software. Some of which gets loaded on the machine, some of which is web-based. And then the simulation specialists control it from their end. And then usually, for us, when we're doing one of our simulations, almost always, for us, it's run through Zoom technology. And so any of the simulations that we ever offer are always using Zoom to be able to run the simulations from there.

Greg Kunzweiler:
But the great part about it is, when people jump into the simulations and all that, Emily and Samantha, explain this a little bit more, they don't realize that these avatars can actually see them on the other end, because there's a camera and a microphone for the simulation specialist to use, but then the people on the other end have to have a camera and a microphone in order to interact back and forth with the avatars so they can see each other as well.

Greg Lindberg:
Oh, sure. Very cool. I know I have watched some of the videos and then some of the presentations and it really is very neat and very cutting-edge technology that just has so many benefits and so many applications, so super excited about it. So let's move on to our simulation specialists here. And so let's go to Emily Kochanski first. And so, Emily, if you just want to give us, start off maybe with a brief personal bio about yourself?

Emily Kochanski:
Sure thing. So I am actually a Saint Leo alum. I graduated from Saint Leo University in 2018. And it was actually my former drama professor and dear friend Dr. Alicia Cortes, who informed me that Saint Leo was looking for someone to fill this position. And I immediately jumped on it. I believe I was hired in 2019, January of 2019. So I've been here as an employee for almost three years now, and I've loved every minute of it. I think this is the greatest job I've ever had. Theater and acting is my greatest passion, it's my first love, and I have an extensive background in it, and I'm hoping that that will be my career going forward.

Greg Lindberg:
Awesome. Very cool. And if you don't mind just speaking about your experience as a Saint Leo student as well?

Emily Kochanski:
Absolutely. So when I made the move to enroll in Saint Leo, I was at a kind of a crossroads, a big turning point in my life. I was very fortunate when once again, I decided to take a chance on this university with a recommendation. And just from the minute I started as a student, I had never felt more at home, more empowered and more alive, this university, it really felt like a home away from home, even though my home was a 20 minute drive away. And now it's a two minute drive away. I learned so much here. I came out of my shell here. I really don't think without the experience of having been a student here, learned here, grown here, met the people that I did here, I don't think I would be close to the person that I am now. So I really owe a lot to my time at this university.

Greg Lindberg:
Oh, sure. Very well said. And we appreciate that feedback.

Emily Kochanski:
I appreciate you.

Greg Lindberg:
And then in terms of your career, I know that you've done several things prior to this role, if you just want to give the listeners little insight on what you've done?

Emily Kochanski:
Absolutely. I was actually a... I worked at an assisted living facility, which is what I was doing when I made the move to enroll at Saint Leo. Prior to that, I was attending Pasco-Hernando Community College, now, state college. I was in their nursing program. I was convinced in high school that nursing is what I wanted to do, it was the best career move. And about halfway through the program, my eyes opened up and said, "Hey, this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life." And while it was a very fulfilling career and while I loved my time at the assisted living facility, I actually wrapped up my career there working with Alzheimer's and dementia residents.

Emily Kochanski:
And I loved it. It was challenging, but I loved it. And it was very fulfilling. Shortly after enrolling at Saint Leo, I became a student employee on the campus newspaper, the Lions' Pride, and I love writing. I still love writing. And thanks to my experience with them, I was able to get a job outside of the university with a local free newspaper. And I worked with them for several years before, unfortunately, they had to shut down. But that expanded my interests and my love of writing and even expanded my knowledge and love of my own hometown. And so I've had a hand in everything, just all different fields. I still retain a lot of that nursing information. I still maintain those journalism soft skills, and I find ways to apply them to the career that I really want, which is acting.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Yeah. And hey, as a fellow, a journalism major myself, I should say, there's so many ways that experience, those skills, can be applied to so many different fields and roles. And certainly something like this for sure.

Emily Kochanski:
Absolutely. Well said.

Greg Lindberg:
Yeah. So let's turn now to Samantha Parisi, our other simulation specialist here with us. And so Samantha, just introduce yourself, give us a little bio about yourself as well.

Samantha Parisi:
Okay. I am a professional actor right now, but I started off, I was teaching kindergarten and preschool for many years. And then I put a pause on that and I raised three children, two of whom graduated from Saint Leo in 2019. And-

Greg Lindberg:
Oh wow, nice.

Samantha Parisi:
Yeah. And in fact, I used to come to Saint Leo when we would go on retreat during high school, with my church.

Greg Lindberg:
Very cool.

Samantha Parisi:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And so I returned to acting. I've been a professional actor for about the last 10 years. I have done everything to do with live theater that you can think of except for maybe costuming an entire show, I custom myself, but I wouldn't put anyone else through that. I've done Front of House Box Office, helped with publicity and marketing and social media campaigns, designing graphics, as well as doing the technical backstage stuff, stage managing and lighting and sound design.

Greg Lindberg:
Wow. That's quite a swath, quite a variety of roles you've had.

Samantha Parisi:
Yeah. Yeah, fairly easy to keep oneself busy here in the Tampa Bay area with commercials and infomercials and helping out over home shopping network or filming parts and movies. You can find something to do.

Greg Lindberg:
No doubt. Yeah. And I'm definitely curious, any big projects, anything you want to mention that you've had the opportunity to work on?

Samantha Parisi:
I was an extra on the set of Magic Mike and I can see myself in the scene I was in, but nobody else would be able to recognize me. And I was also featured in The Florida Project, and in Bobcat Goldthwait's television show, Misfits and Monsters.

Greg Lindberg:
Wow. Very interesting. And then, so in terms of this opportunity here at Saint Leo University, working as a simulation specialist, how did you find out about it? How did you get connected and make this happen?

Samantha Parisi:
I saw the posting online and when I replied to it, I realized it was, Emily, had something to do with this. Emily and I had met working at a theater in Tampa Powerstories Theater. We were in a production together. And yeah, so it was like, "Oh, goody, I get a chance to work with Emily." And she explained to me what it was she was learning to do while we were working on the play we were working on. And I thought, "Oh, that sounds really fascinating."

Samantha Parisi:
And I was intrigued by it, but some of the stuff she was describing, as far as the equipment that we use, working with a gaming controller, I was like, "Oh, I'm kind of an old school girl. I was brought up on standup arcade machines and one joystick and a fire button, I'm not sure I can handle what you do." And she said, "Oh, no, no, it's easy. You get the hang of it." And here I am almost two years later, finally getting the hang of it.

Greg Lindberg:
Very interesting. So let's dive a little deeper into the technology. And I know Greg set us up with a little introduction of how it works, but I did want to give both you ladies the chance to explain as well. Just from your perspective as simulation specialists, in terms of how the technology works, what students actually observe, how they interact with the characters, so to speak and certainly your roles as well? And Emily, we can start with you on that one.

Emily Kochanski:
So some of the things that students observe, I mean, students come in and see this and their first instinct is, "Oh, this is like a video game, it's virtual reality. It's not real." I think a lot of them come into this with that expectation that this is, it's virtual reality. It's not real, it's a computer simulation, it's going to react to what I say. It's all predetermined pre-programmed. So some of them don't come in thinking that this is going to be an amazing experience or that they're going to learn as much as they do from it. But when they make that connection or rather when we give them the ability to make that connection, that there's a real person behind there, and this is all done in real time. You can see the shift in them when they notice that.

Emily Kochanski:
I mean, that's something we're trained to do. When the simulation first begins, we make some kind of observation that lets them know that there's a real person behind that cartoon character. So it could be something as simple as, "Oh, hey, I really love that floral top. Where did you get that?" Or, "Wow. That poster behind you on the wall, I'm a big Rolling Stones fan too." Something that lets them know they're being watched. And it's so fun to just see that shift in them and to really get into it. And I mean, they can know that there's a real person, but they can't know that it's Emily Kochanski or Samantha Parisi. We're kind of like The Wizard of Oz.

Emily Kochanski:
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. But it's so much fun that this is all done, it's happening live, it's all improv. Because as an actress, I mean, I love improv. I love getting to think on my feet and responding to what these students say. And just as much as they go into this, not knowing what the avatars are going to say or do next, that's how Sam and I are feeling as well, because we don't know what the students are going to say or do next and what we need to do to react to that. So it's fun for us that each of these experience is new all the time, it's not the same thing over and over. We're always on our toes. So it's just as challenging and interesting for us as it is for the students. At least I like to think and hope so.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Yeah. Very well put.

Emily Kochanski:
Thank you.

Greg Lindberg:
And Samantha, anything to add to that?

Samantha Parisi:
I want the students to know that we are not here to see that they fail, we're rooting for them on the other side of the screen, and this is a wonderful opportunity for us to give them a safe space where they can fail, they can completely crash and burn, or they can take the knowledge that they've learned in class or in a lecture and put it to use.

Greg Lindberg:
Oh, sure. I see. And then I'm definitely curious about how each of you prepare for these sessions and just kind of the process behind the curtain, like you were saying, Emily. Samantha, we can start with you on that one. Just talk to us about the process of working with a faculty member, perhaps, any kind of writing process involved and just what's involved in the preparation before you actually dive into one of these sessions?

Samantha Parisi:
Sure. We have an outline form that we go through with the faculty member and they outline what they would like to see happen. Sometimes, they are very specific on what they need to see or need to hear from their students. And other times they're just, "Here's the situation and just let it play out." And once we have an idea of what their expectations are and what they're looking for, we can go over the notes. Again, they can be very specific. We have faculty members who will come with us and say, "I need this particular character, and this is their background story, and this is what needs to come up in the conversation."

Samantha Parisi:
We call them hit points. There's specific things that we need to see happen. And other times, it's, "You're just an irate customer and you're complaining. And I need you to make sure that you ask for a refund." Or something like that. So we have an idea of where the story is going to go, but we don't have a set script. So as Emily pointed out, it's improved and we are basing it all on, what we hear from them is what we react to. And so we just have an idea of where the story is supposed to be going, but we don't know exactly how we're going to get there.

Greg Lindberg:
Right. And very interesting. And Emily, how about your perspective on the preparation process?

Emily Kochanski:
Well, I think it definitely couldn't come to fruition without that collaboration with a faculty member, because I never want to feel like they're just throwing what they want at me, and I don't have a full understanding of it. If it takes me an hour or 10 minutes, I like to make sure I'm getting a full understanding of what the faculty member is asking of me, what is expected of my characters and expected of their students, because I want to be able to give them exactly what they want. But also, in doing that, there's a lot of preparation I try to do on my own depending on the kind of scenario it is. And I think a lot of people will tell you that a lot of actors or any good actor will do this. They do research to prepare for a certain role.

Emily Kochanski:
For instance, if maybe we were doing an education scenario that involved the student learner portraying a teacher that has to handle a class, a classroom of children that has one child that has a learning disability, and how do you respond to that child with that learning disability? Well, I would like to know, how do I portray a child with a learning disability? I don't want to have this character come across as just that, a character, a caricature. I don't want to feel like I'm being disrespectful of somebody with those kinds of disabilities. I want it to be accurate. I want to know exactly how to portray this person. So it is realistic as well. So I try to put a lot of research and time into preparing for a simulation that might have a very important part such as that.

Greg Lindberg:
Oh, sure. Very interesting and very interesting insight. There's just so much that goes into the process. It sounds like I'm hearing from both of you guys. I know that both of you have to be very versatile in terms of your voices and portraying different characters, different genders, different ages, from students, to teachers, to principals, parents, in terms of specifically the education programs, but perhaps even other roles and titles as well and other degree. I'm definitely wondering how you can be so versatile. Do you have any tips, tricks up your sleeves as far as what you do to be able to pivot quickly between characters and between your approach to the voicing part of it? And, Emily, we can start with you on that?

Emily Kochanski:
Well, I think it definitely helps to already have a unique or goofy personality. Someone who is not afraid to say something silly or do a silly voice, just be fun, just have fun with it. You can't take yourself too seriously, I don't think, especially when you know that you're in this little room talking at all of these different voices and there could very well be people walking past and going, "What is going on in there?" And also, it comes with a lot of practice. I mean, growing up, I've always liked to entertain people and goof off and be silly. So I've always loved doing silly little voices or impressions, but coming in and learning about these specific characters with trainings, through folks from Mursion who supply us with the software, they're teaching us these very specific voices to do, especially for the children avatars.

Emily Kochanski:
And it's so interesting when you're portraying five kids at once and you're bouncing back between them and making sure your voice sounds different every single time. And I mean, you have one kid that talks like this all the time, and then right down the line, you have a little girl that talks like this, that shouts a mile a minute and you have to be able to do this and do it really fast and be able to transition, it does, it takes a lot of practice. But you've got to have fun with it.

Greg Lindberg:
Oh, sure. Sure. And, Samantha, how about you? Talk to us about your approach. Any practice that you do, any tips and tricks?

Samantha Parisi:
I think it helps to be a really good listener, but you also have to be able to obviously multitask. We are listening and paying attention to what the learner is saying to us, telling us, but we also have to be thinking one or two steps ahead. Are they going to call on this character next? Where do we think we're going with this? Plus we're also manipulating the movements of the different avatars. And thankfully now with some improvements in the voice morphing software, it's easier for us to jump from one character to the next, without having to change our pitch quite as much. It's more changing the speech patterns like Emily said, whether they have a particular vocal tick or the way that they speak is very measured and slow or whether they're really fast-talking.

Samantha Parisi:
You just come to know the characters, the avatars speak in your head. We have this one older lady and in my head, she is always chocking with a little bit of a Midwestern accent. And she's curious and wants to know what's going on around here. These are the voices I hear in my head, so we just do our best to make sure they come across.

Greg Lindberg:
Very cool. I know that Greg did mention earlier that the education degree programs, that was kind of the first foray for us into this technology as far as offering it in our education programs. And I know that we also now offer it in several other degree programs. So Samantha, if you want to just speak about perhaps some examples of classes that you've worked with faculty on, with this technology?

Samantha Parisi:
Sure. Social work is one that we work with quite a bit. Criminal justice has been one of our favorites, both Emily and I enjoy working with the department and getting to play a variety of maybe witnesses or possible perps. We got to do a mock trial last in the spring semester with a class, so we got to be all these different witnesses up on the witness stand as well as possible jurors. We're going to start working with obviously the new nursing degree program. Oh, journalism of course, interviewing different interviews.

Greg Lindberg:
And, Emily, any specific classes or projects that you've worked on that have stood out to you?

Emily Kochanski:
I mean, Samantha has mentioned a great deal of them and I loved them all. I love the diversity in all of these different scenarios that come our way from the different faculty. I love the stories or the case studies that they have in mind that they're bringing to us and thinking, "Oh, this character is going to be so much fun to play. We've done some really interesting stuff lately with the other side of education, more from a board of directors or a higher position then. So we've gone from playing this classroom of young children to now a person in a very high seat on a school board, and they've said, or done something that they shouldn't have said or done.

Emily Kochanski:
And it's so neat to get to play this kind of character that's so opposite for my personality and hearing how the students react to that, and sitting here thinking to myself, "I swear, I'm not a bad person. I'm really not a bad person." So there's always something new that comes to us, that I just find so much joy in. It's hard to pick just one.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. Sure. Very interesting. In terms of the benefits of this technology for our students, obviously the degree programs, the student journey, wanting to see our students graduate and then really walk away with great skills, great experience from their courses. From your perspectives, I'm curious, what kind of benefits have you witnessed, have you seen from our students using this technology? Emily, we can start with you.

Emily Kochanski:
I have definitely seen a change in students the more I've done these simulations. We have several faculty members that use them multiple times in a semester or use them every semester. And sometimes we see the same students come back. And I've noticed that on several occasions, the student that may be the first time they ever did one of these simulations, they couldn't stop laughing the entire way through it, because they were either so nervous or they were looking at this, it's like, "This is a cartoon. This can't be real. I can't be serious here." Then seeing them on their second or third time, and they are just the model of perfection and properness. They're so professional.

Emily Kochanski:
So I can tell that students are learning from this and they're bettering themselves. They're bettering their skills. I think it's great that they're getting the opportunity to have a situation as close as to what they're going to experience in the real world here. And they're getting to learn from it before they get out there in the real world. And I sit here and I wonder every day about students that have since graduated, and I'm, I'm wondering, "I wonder if they've experienced anything like what we did together yet. And I hope they handled it well. I wonder if any of them have ever thought about, 'Oh, that one avatar got mad when I said this, so I shouldn't say this to my new boss.'" So I do. I think it really does help our students to grow and become better.

Greg Lindberg:
Right. Appreciate that feedback.

Emily Kochanski:
Of course.

Greg Lindberg:
And then, Samantha, from your perspective, what kind of benefits have you witnessed or perhaps positive changes that you've seen in students that you've gotten to work with?

Samantha Parisi:
I feel like what we offer them is a very targeted experience. So if they had gone out into the field that they were in intern, they could go their entire time interning in a position and never come across some of the situations that we can develop and create specifically for them. We were reading a recent paper out of Sweden that said that three hours of simulation time is equivalent to three weeks of practice in a real life situation. The students may be spending that time. And certainly, having a wonderful experience as far as a field placement, we can give them those very targeted, specific experiences that will truly benefit them later in life.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. Wow. And, Greg, I did want to give you a chance to chime in on this one as well. I know he's the manager, so to speak of this technology. What have you heard from faculty, even from students on the benefits of this technology?

Greg Kunzweiler:
Absolutely. Yeah. We've heard a lot of great reviews from faculty. We've even gotten comments from faculty, from students about it, especially the ones that got a chance to do it, like Emily said, a couple of times during the semester. Because each time they go into it, the second or third time, they have a little bit more knowledge and know it a little bit more. But it really goes to the benefit, just like Samantha said, as far as that targeted, putting them into an environment for them to learn from. It's hard because once you get out in the real world, things are going to come up. And to have a safe place where you can go and have that opportunity to be in that experience, and then to have other people, especially a faculty member that's an expert in that area, they can pause this simulation and give them some feedback.

Greg Kunzweiler:
And then they could possibly even jump back in. Has been extremely helpful. We've heard from several different areas that the students that ended up moving on, gave them some feedback when they actually got their position somewhere else about how helpful it was to be able to be put in these type of scenarios, to be able to learn from. And we continued to try to grow the program when they were mentioning all the different areas. I always tell people, there's not really any area that's out of bounds for this kind of thing.

Greg Kunzweiler:
If you have some sort of soft skill or specific communication-type of thing that you want your students to learn or experience, we can put them in that environment. If there's some sort of role playing that you want to put them in, let's do a simulation, let's create a scenario and put them into it and give them a safe space to be able to experience that.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. I also know that during the pandemic, over the last year and a half or so, many of our classes have had to move virtually at various times and thankfully this technology is so versatile that it can really be consumed literally anywhere.

Greg Kunzweiler:
Absolutely. That's a great part about Zoom. We've had students doing this on their phone. So not that that's always the best experience because of how small the screen is, but we do it there, some students just do it from home on their laptop and then some instructors in the face-to-face classroom, pull it up and then they're able to do it in front of one of our larger monitors in the classroom with the instructor there and possibly some of the other students there as well, to be able to experience the simulation.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. Very interesting. All right. So just to wrap up here, I did want to give each of you just the chance to offer some final words about this technology, just the importance of it, what it has meant to you and just being able to offer it? And, Greg, we can start with you.

Greg Kunzweiler:
Yeah. So it's definitely meant a lot to me. I've seen it from when it was just with education and then as it got added to my team and then got the license and had an opportunity to hire our two wonderful simulation specialists and getting a chance to work with them and to see their passions towards working with the software and working with the faculty and working with the students to create these really enriched learning environments for the students to learn. It's just been a pleasure for me to watch and getting a chance to see this continue to grow.

Greg Kunzweiler:
And every semester, they always come to me and say, "Oh, we're doing different scenarios and simulations with this area and that area, and this is new area we're going to do." And it's really exciting to watch. And so we continue to want to let our faculty know and actually, we're starting to offer this outside the university as well. So we actually have one partner in Weber State University, and so we partnered with them to offer simulations and we're going to continue to grow that part as well. Sky's the limit for where we can go with this. And we're definitely excited to partner too with Mursion on continuing to build it out.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Samantha, any final words?

Samantha Parisi:
I love the aha moments when you see the students really engaging, or they have that sudden rush of confidence because they know that they are doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing. It's thrilling for me to see. And when we get those comments at, maybe the end of the semester, or we hear the students talking after a simulation is done, and they're saying, "I forgot that this wasn't real. I became so involved in the situation and now I'm sorry that it's over. And 10 minutes just flew by. I can't even believe that I was doing it that long." I love to see that suspension of disbelief, but mostly we love the reactions of the students.

Greg Lindberg:
Excellent. And, Emily, how about you?

Emily Kochanski:
Well, I definitely think that a lot of the studies are true when they say that this kind of technology is potentially the future of education, because there are so many benefits to it. And as we've said throughout this interview, that even though it's animated, it's virtual reality, it still mirrors the real world and is giving you those experiences to succeed in the real world. And just knowing that I'm a part of that, that I am potentially a part of preparing that next generation to go out there and do big things, that hopefully they will change the world, it's very enriching, it's very flattering.

Emily Kochanski:
And I can only hope that I'm making a difference in at least one student's life, in their career. I hope this experience is giving them the ability to go out and look at the world with new eyes, with more confidence, just like this job and my experiences at this university did for me. So if I can make at least one student feel as good as I did when I was a student and as good as I feel now as an employee, then I know that I'm doing a good job.

Greg Lindberg:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). No doubt, and very well said.

Emily Kochanski:
Thank you.

Greg Lindberg:
All right. So again, we've been visiting with Greg Kunzweiler, Emily Kochanski, and Samantha Parisi here on the Saint Leo 360 Podcast. And just want to thank each of you so much for your time and your insight on this great technology, and thank you to each of you for everything you do for the university.

Emily Kochanski:
Yes. Thank you so much.

Greg Kunzweiler:
Thanks for having us.

Samantha Parisi:
It was fun. Thank you.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. All righty.

speaker 1:
To hear more episodes of the Saint Leo 360 Podcast, visit Saint Leo dot edu forward slash podcast. To learn more about Saint Leo's programs and services, call 877-622-2009, or visit Saint Leo dot edu.

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Saint Leo 360 podcast, we chat about the Simulated Experiences at Saint Leo technology. Our guests include Greg Kunzweiler, assistant director of Saint Leo University’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, along with two simulation specialists, Emily Kochanski and Samantha Parisi. They discussed:

  • What the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) is and its role within the university
  • How and when Saint Leo University began using this simulation technology and eventually acquiring a license from Mursion
  • How this technology works with students getting to interact with avatars
  • How Kochanski and Parisi became simulation specialists and their unique backgrounds
  • How they work closely with faculty members to prepare for a simulation session
  • Examples of degree programs and courses in which this technology is used
  • The numerous benefits of this technology for student users and positive feedback they have received from both students and faculty

Links & Resources

Learn more about Simulated Experiences at Saint Leo and view some video demos of how the technology works by visiting Saint Leo University’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence.

Read what Saint Leo faculty are saying about this technology in our blog article "Faculty Weigh in on Saint Leo’s Cutting-Edge Simulation Technology".

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