Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Wanda Hadley, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joseph Kretovics, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

June Gothberg, Ph.D.


ATu, iHuman, PhysioU, Shadow Health, Simucase, vSim


Simulation has been recognized as a teaching, learning, evaluation, and research strategy based on learning theories, that has come to play a significant role in healthcare education (Beal et al., 2017; La Cerra et al., 2019). Health-related academic programs in higher education have traditionally used simulation to fill gaps in learning and strengthen students’ clinical and critical thinking skills in conjunction with didactic classroom content, laboratory practice, and clinical education in the community setting (Hayden et al., 2014). With the onset and unpredictability of COVID-19, there was almost an immediate need for health-related academic programs across the world to transition from face-to-face teaching and learning, to remote online delivery methods to ensure the academic progression of students. To manage this transition, many higher education health-related programs turned to web-based simulated clinical learning platforms to support health-related students’ development of clinical skills, and clinical understanding in the absence of traditional forms of laboratory, simulation, and clinical education.

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to develop an in-depth analysis focused on perceived experiences of students and faculty utilizing web-based simulated clinical learning platforms incorporated within the curriculum of nine different baccalaureate and graduate health-related programs at one Midwestern public university in the United States. The analysis and triangulation of data included; students’ and faculty perceptions via survey of their satisfaction, value, and usage levels of the web-based simulated clinical learning platforms, field educators’ perception of student preparedness for clinical education, as well as, a comparison of course syllabi pre and post implementation of the web-based simulated clinical learning platforms. In-depth faculty opinions were also gathered via a focus group interview and inductive thematic analysis used to examine the perspectives of each participant on the overall effectiveness on how well such platforms helped meet course learning objectives, the usefulness of specific platform components, and the utilization levels and value of the platforms in comparison the actual cost of the platform. Findings of this study were used to provide actionable information and recommendations for stakeholders and others in the future utilization of web-based simulated clinical learning platforms in health-related academic programs in higher education.

In summary, it is recommended that web-based simulated clinical learning platforms be utilized in conjunction with in-person clinical education. Whereas, content from the web-based simulated clinical learning platforms is used to supplement or replace missed clinical education, deliver specific evaluative standardized experiences for students, or provide students access to patient care conditions that are hard to replicate or gain access to in the student role in the clinical setting.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access