MicroCourse: Virtual Scenario Design

MicroCourse: Virtual Scenario Design

This course is now available asynchronously at any time and at your own pace!
Course Fee: $150 + tax (member and multi-course discounts available)



Virtual patients, virtual simulation games, and virtual experiences – computer-based simulations that learners can access through the web and complete independently – emerged in the early 2000s. Since that time, there has been growing interest in their use, the research base, and technology platforms available to create and disseminate scenarios. Virtual experiences can be used to address cognitive, procedural, attitudinal, communication, and collaboration competencies.

During the COVID pandemic, there has been a surge of interest in integrating virtual simulations into experiential learning for healthcare and human service learners.

In this online micro-course, virtual patient and gamification experts share their practical advice on integrating virtual experiences into curricula, selecting a technological platform, and designing scenarios.

This course is part of our new online micro-course series for educators entering simulation or adapting their approaches in response to the pandemic.

Learning Goals

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Summarize the different types of virtual patient/experience platforms.
  2. Select a platform that best aligns with a given learning objective.
  3. Develop a plan to integrate the virtual experience into a curriculum, including debriefing.
  4. Develop a plan to design a virtual patient/experience scenario.


  • Breadth of learning objectives that can be addressed with virtual patients
  • Gamification and enhancing engagement
  • Free, open-source and commercial technology platforms available
  • How to select a platform
  • Pre- and post-virtual patient activities for curriculum integration
  • Feedback and debriefing
  • Scenario design process and considerations


Module 1: Virtual Simulation Pedagogy

3 hours: Mini-lectures + online learning resources + recorded Q&A session

Virtual Patient Structures & Alignment With Learning Objectives
Timothy Willett, MD MMEd
President & CEO
Simulation Canada

Design of Virtual Experiences with Gamification and Immersive Technologies
Bill Kapralos, PhD
Associate Professor, Software and Informatics Research Centre
Ontario Tech University

Embedding Virtual Experiences in Education: The Process
Margaret Verkuyl, NP PHC MN
Professor (Nursing)
Centennial College

Module 2: Technology Platforms & Scenario Design

2 hours, online.

  1. View presentations from one or more virtual patient/game/experience platform developers on finding or authoring scenarios on their platform.
  2. Try designing a scenario on a platform of your choice.

Module 3: Curriculum Integration & Troubleshooting

1 hour, online.

  1. Develop a curriculum integration plan for a virtual scenario.
  2. Recorded Q&A session with virtual simulation experts.

Course Completion

Upon completion of this MicroCourse, participants will receive:

  • e-certificate of completion
  • New! Micro-course digital badge.  Digital badges demonstrate your achievement of course completion, displayed on your SIMCanada LMS profile and linkable to your personal social networking profile.