Undergraduate Education

SMU Students Use Mixed-Reality Simulation to Practice Communication Skills

SMU students practiced essential communication skills with Mursion, an immersive simulation assisted by Artificial Intelligence.

An SMU student practices Active Listening using the Mursion simulation environment.
An SMU student practices Active Listening using the Mursion simulation environment.

Students in Dr. Bing’s Creating Impact in Global & Public Health class have been practicing their communication skills in a number of different settings including an in-class debate.  Recently they worked with an immersive simulation called Mursion.   At the end of the semester, they will combine their communication skills and class knowledge in a Battle to Save Lives.   

 The Center for VR Learning Innovation at SMU includes the Mixed-Reality Simulation Lab which hosts the Mursion simulation.  The Mursion simulation allows individuals to practice difficult and stressful conversations by staging interactions between learners and virtual avatars. The simulation has been shown to be effective in building communication skills due to its high level of realism and feedback provided by the program and provides a valuable learning experience for anyone looking to improve their interpersonal communication skills.  

 Using the Mursion simulation, students practiced Active Listening using OARS and Motivational Interviewing. OARS is built upon Open-Ended Questions, Affirmation, Reflective Listening, and Summary. Motivational Interviewing is built upon collaboration, evocation, autonomy and compassion. Students are provided with a scenario that involved an inter-personal issue between the avatars and they practiced engaging in a conversation with them about the problem. Their goal is not to resolve the problem, but instead to use Active Listening skills to guide the avatars in coming to a solution on their own.     

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