Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology

First Advisor

Jennifer Friberg

Second Advisor

Lisa Vinney


Simulated patients are becoming increasingly used in the educational program of future speech-language pathologists. The use of standardized patients provides the opportunity to teach students clinical skills in a controlled environment (Bradley, 2006; Zraick, 2012). Simucase, a speech-language pathology software program, allows clinicians to practice their assessment and treatment skills on virtual patients and is a valid method when teaching clinical skills. Thus, this project examined five undergraduate senior clinicians’ performance and reflection about the Simucase program and their own clinical knowledge. The undergraduate student clinicians engaged in controlled simulation experiences that shared similar characteristics to their current clients, and then reflected upon their experiences via self-report questionnaires. Students engaged in simulations in two different modes. When working in the learning mode, students were provided with feedback about their clinical decision-making. In the assessment mode, no feedback was provided. Results indicated that students spent significantly more time interacting with simulated cases, as well as significantly increased competency scores when utilizing in the assessment mode. Students’ reflections about their experience with Simucase indicated increased confidence in utilizing the program and when providing treatment. However, students’ confidence decreased in taking data and making an appropriate clinical decision likely because their experience with Simucase allowed them to reflect on deficits in their knowledge and skills. This study demonstrates the need for continued research within communication sciences and disorders fields as to the efficacy of the use of simulated patients with undergraduate students. Additionally, a further study is needed to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of different Simucase modes on student learning.


Imported from ProQuest Smyers_ilstu_0092N_11360.pdf


Page Count