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Designing Digitally - Logo of Cuyahoga Community College featuring the name in stylized green text with a virtual reality icon at the bottom. Designing Digitally -

Managing Stressors Training Simulations Cuyahoga Community College

Designing Digitally - Logo of Cuyahoga Community College featuring the name in stylized green text with a virtual reality icon at the bottom. Designing Digitally -


Managing Stressors Training Simulation

Training Method

Online Training Simulations

The Client

Cuyahoga Community College is a public community college in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Founded in 1963, it is the oldest and largest public community college in the state of Ohio.

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The Challenge

Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) is a well-established institution with four campuses around the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1962, it has served an extremely diverse population and has grown to over 50k students a year. The institution strives to provide high-quality education and training options to all students at a reasonable cost.

Due to a change in the federal funding model of student loan distribution from attendance to successful completion, Tri-C recognized a need to focus resources on increasing student retention, completion, and student success. Biology, specifically Anatomy and Physiology, was identified as an excellent area for development because it is one of the highest enrollment course series.

The subject matter for the Managing Stressors Training Simulation was identified as a result of a comprehensive needs analysis based on instructor and student surveys in addition to student test scores. The students overwhelmingly answered that the effects of stress on the body’s nervous, muscular, and endocrine systems were the most challenging.

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The solution

To help students understand the complicated aspects of what happens to the body when stressed, Designing Digitally, Inc. determined the best approach would be an online 3D simulation-based training program called Managing Stressors Training Simulation. 

Managing Stressors Training Simulation is a complex, scientifically accurate simulation exploration of how stress affects the body at the systems, organ, and cellular levels of the human body.

Understandably, this is not a simple process to explain, so the Designing Digitally, Inc. instructional design staff worked with a team of Professors in a collaborative effort to identify trouble areas for students.

After pinpointing difficult material it was decided the Managing Stressors Training Simulation would be broken into five sections: the Brain, Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland, Adrenal Gland, Sympathetic Nervous System, and Negative Feedback.

Each section is self-contained, allowing the learner to either complete the course linearly or have the freedom and flexibility to complete sections in an order of their choosing.

Each of these simulation-based training sections includes detailed 3D animations, explanations, and charts to visualize the effects of stress on the previously mentioned systems. To ensure learners are retaining information, interactive knowledge checks are given throughout the module. Scores of the assessments are cumulatively tracked and recorded to give educators the ability to see and track student progress. Time spent in each section and total time spent in the course is also recorded.

Learners of the training simulation also have the option of restarting any of the training sections from the beginning, so they can revisit any trouble areas or use the course as a reference. With the help of 3D visual aids, students get a new and different perspective of the material and can more clearly understand course content, making the difficult subject matter much easier to understand.

Managing stressor simulation content consists of interactive 3D simulations with animations, branching scenarios, puzzles, animations, and still images. 

To meet the ADA 508 standards of the college, the entire course can be completed with the use of a screen reader. All images and visuals include detailed ALT tag descriptions, including the 3D animations, audio narration, and auto-scrolling closed captioning used throughout. This allows students with disabilities to complete the Managing Stressors Training Simulation on their own.



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