James Madison University

Professor Receives Technology Award

By: Michael Morikawa
Posted: October 31, 2014

PHOTO: Carol Dudding

Dr. Carol Dudding, a professor for the Communication Sciences and Disorders department, was named a recipient for the CIT 2014 Excellence in Teaching & Learning with Technology Award. Dudding received a $300 Honorary Teaching Grant to further her exploration into technology-related materials to enhance or develop other instructional projects.

Nominated by one of her peers, Dudding is being recognized for her development of online simulation tools designed to provide her students with virtual-life clinical experiences in Speech-Language Pathology. By using these tools, students are able to make real-time decisions based on their knowledge and apply them to virtual patients in a stress-free environment all while bolstering their comfort and experience within a clinical setting. “I have always looked for ways to use innovative technologies, whether social or entertaining in nature, for student learning,” says Dudding. “Simulations using gaming platforms seemed like a good way for students to gain practice with virtual patients without the risk of their embarrassment or harm to the patient. It allows us to expand opportunities for my students to work with students in other  disciplines. This area of inter-professional education is of big interest right now.”  This innovative method allows students to gain valuable experience in a variety of clinical situations, some which.were not feasible before.

Dudding is collaborating with Flanders University in Australia to assess the benefits of these simulations for students in Communication Sciences and Disorders. With her integration of this technology, Dudding looks forward to shaping future learning for students in the program. “I am hopeful that simulations of all types, especially virtual simulations, will be recognized as legitimate means of student clinical training.” explains Dudding. “I am hopeful that one day students in Communication Sciences and Disorders can earn some of the required clinical experiences using these technologies.”

With her grant, Dudding plans to invest in a virtual headset called an Oculus Rift which will allow students to feel even more immersed in the situations that Dudding and her colleagues have created for them.