Academic and Student Services hero small
Academic and Student Services

Educational Technology

The Educational Technology team supports many aspects of classroom, faculty, and student technology such as D2L, Brightspace, Top Hat Audience Response System, Anatomage Table, ExamSoft and Biolucida.

Requested Services
Educational Technology Committees

Educational Technology Committees

At MCW, two committees have been tasked with providing direction, facilitating consistent standards and providing recommendations for educational technology use across all campuses, schools and programs.

The Strategic Educational IT (SEIT) Committee provides institutional direction for educational technologies, while the Educational IT Committee (EITC) facilitates consistent standards with respect to the institutional direction. The differences in the two committees are outlined below. The EITC reports to the SEIT.

Learn more
Educational Technology Corner

Educational Technology Corner

Updates, ideas and opportunities on topics such as product updates and improvements for Brightspace, Tophat, Aquifer, ExamSoft, and Biolucida Virtual Microscope.

Learn more

The OEI Educational Technology Team Administers:

Virtual Reality in Medical Education

As technology continues to evolve and become a mainstream component in how we educate our student populations, virtual reality technology is primed to disrupt the industry. Before we dive too deep into this concept, let’s quickly define virtual reality. Virtual reality (VR) is the use of technology to create a simulated environment. Users are placed into a 3-dimensional environment and are able to interact with the objects in this space. The realism of the environment is created by simulating as many senses (vision, touch, hearing) as possible.

This virtual environment is created by wearing a head-mounted display, sometimes referred to as an HMD. The biggest difference between traditional and VR interfaces is the visual display. Even though virtual reality is still an emerging market, there are multiple vendors for both hardware and software options. Both the STAR Center and Office of Educational Improvement (OEI) recently invested in purchasing Oculus headsets for future usage within MCW’s academic programs. Oculus, an affiliate of Facebook Technologies, LLC, is considered a leading expert in VR hardware development.

Militaries and the aviation industry were amongst the initial adapters of virtual reality However, VR is an attractive alternative for any industry that deals with dangerous scenarios, expensive equipment, or hard to replicate scenarios. Not surprisingly, usage of VR in medicine is rapidly evolving. Surgery, anesthesia, and anatomy-based scenarios have been amongst the early adopters. A few examples of how medicine is currently using VR can be found at these websites:

While the journey into virtual reality is just beginning for us at MCW, there is reason for excitement. The STAR Center and OEI have begun preliminary conversations with a Madison-based VR company, Arch Virtual. Their experienced team of developers create training applications for education. Their Airway Lab VR simulation was selected as Best in Show at the 2018 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) conference.

Arch Virtual’s Acadicus platform is what sets them apart from their competitors. Acadicus is a software program which includes everything needed to create and record demonstrations, simulations, presentations, and multi-user events without writing any code. The software includes a library of environments as well as an inventory of hundreds of pieces of equipment and devices. We hope to create a partnership with Arch Virtual in the coming months that will be mutually beneficial.

As the STAR Center and OEI develop our plan(s) for how virtual reality can be utilized throughout MCW’s programs, we invite you to contact us if you have an interest in being involved in developing VR content.

Learn more about Virtual Reality in Health Sciences Education (PDF)

B-Line Simulated Electronic Medical Record

Electronic medical records, or EMR, are a reality in modern healthcare. Training our students to function within these systems helps prepare them for clinical practice. Our new EMR experience in B-Line Medical’s SimCapture software provides an easy to manage and customizable EMR environment that fits into current simulation workflows, allowing us to conduct simulation and assessment activities complete with an electronic medical record.

Currently used by the School of Pharmacy and MSA program, B-Line Medical’s EMR holds case information in a medical record format, with sections for the case note, general patient information, a snapshot of the case that includes vitals and other pertinent data, history, lab results, and even imaging. Each EMR case can be customized and tailored to the program’s needs, including adding images such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI images, and ECG tracings.

The simulated EMR can appear on the learner’s workstation and is adaptable to all types of students and scenarios. Students can review the EMR before they begin a simulated patient or task trainer encounter, then scribe information such as a progress note and care plan for the case directly into the EMR when they return to their workstation. A Scoring Evaluation enables faculty viewers to see student EMR submissions along with a video of the simulated encounter, fostering accurate assessment and provision of formative feedback. Encounter videos can even be annotated to provide additional feedback, a feature used by the MSA program with great success.

To date, the EMR has not been used in the simulation room itself but that functionality is available. This would allow learners to check case data and enter notes while in the room with the standardized patient or task trainer, just as they would when providing actual clinical care. STAR Center staff is prepared to assist programs in developing such scenarios.

MCW is proud to be an early adopter of simulated EMR technology in our training programs. Please contact the STAR Center at for more information or to schedule a consultation.

“The Electronic Medical Record application on B-Line has dramatically enhanced our simulation program. Prior to implementing the EMR, we were using paper records which have essentially vanished from modern anesthesia care. Learner's now approach their standardized patient and high-fidelity exams with a process that mirrors their in-hospital resources. Of course, the effectiveness of teaching technologies depends on the skill of the user. Fortunately, we have had Star Center staff to guide our design and implementation. The results have been a truly polished and realistic learner experience.”

Michael Stout, EdD CAA, Assistant Professor and Program Director, Master of Science in Anesthesia

“Using the EMR style feature was helpful to encourage students to review a medical record.  It’s helpful to make them review a patient’s chart and determine what is important.  As healthcare institutions move towards all electronic health records, this is yet another way to ensure that our students will be practice ready when they move on to their clinical rotations/APPE rotations.”

Rachel Kavanaugh, PharmD, Assistant Professor, School of Pharmacy

High-Fidelity Simulators and Task Trainers

Simulation-based training with the use of high-fidelity simulators is a vital part of medical education that continues to evolve at an extremely rapid pace. Considering the ever-changing simulation-based training world, the STAR Center recently upgraded their entire fleet of high-fidelity manikins to cover most areas of medical training needs. Each of the STAR Center’s eight high-fidelity manikins are unique in their own way and bring realism to simulation-based training that is simply amazing.

To meet the MCW’s obstetric and pediatric simulation training needs, the STAR Center utilizes four manikins from Gaumard Scientific. Gaumard manikins are designed to deliver exceptional training through a truly immersive experience. Victoria is a female birthing manikin whose realism is unmatched. While walking into Sim B (Victoria’s home), you will notice her eyes track you through the room. Learners can feel free to check her pupils, pulse, and ask her questions - she will answer. Victoria is capable of normal, breech, shoulder dystocia and C-section deliveries. While giving birth, learners can use real monitors on Victoria including a fetal monitor, ECG, NIBP, pulse oximetry and capnography. Victoria gives birth to an “active birthing baby”, that can show signs of cyanosis and jaundice, cries, and has programmable heart and lung sounds and rates. If learners want to perform more advanced procedures on a newborn, they would use Super Tory. Super Tory is Gaumard’s high-fidelity newborn who also has extremely realistic features. Besides programable heart rate, respiratory rate, BP, and O2 saturation, Super Tory’s movements, including brow, arms and legs, can be adjusted. For pediatric training requirements, the STAR Center utilizes Hal, a five-year-old high-fidelity manikin. Hal is wireless like the other Gaumard manikins which makes him fully responsive, even during transport. To learn more about Gaumard Scientific, click on the link below.

To meet the demand for MCW’s anesthesia training needs, the STAR Center employs two different CAE Healthcare high fidelity manikins. Stan is the STAR Center’s adult anesthesia training manikin, while Petey (six-year-old) covers pediatric anesthesia training needs. Like most high-fidelity manikins, learners can measure NIBP, O2 saturation, ECG, and respiratory rate using real patient monitors. What really separates CAE manikins from our other manikins is their respiratory capabilities. Stan and Petey both inhale oxygen, consume it, and exhale carbon dioxide that is measurable with real anesthesia gas monitors. To add to this realism, lung compliance, bronchial resistance, oxygen consumption, and CO2 production are just a few of the programable features. To learn more about CAE Healthcare, click on the link below.

To meet emergency medicine and general simulation requests, the STAR Center utilizes two Laerdal manikins, SimMan 3G and SimBaby. While SimMan 3G is the STAR Center’s workhorse manikin, he does offer some unique training opportunities. In conjunction with the STAR Centers SonoSim Ultrasound Simulator, learners can perform an ultrasound examination with real accessible images. This is achieved with the use of RF tags placed in SimMan that the SonoSim detects and presents the appropriate image based on probe placement, position, and case selection. SonoSim offers hundreds of cases to choose from. SimBaby is an infant high-fidelity simulator that has many of the same functions as it’s older counterpart. To learn more about Laerdal or SonoSim, click on the links below.

Simulation-based training in healthcare has become the standard in medical education. Simulation-based training offers learners the opportunity to practice scenarios rarely seen in the clinical setting, to create more well-rounded providers.

Feel free to schedule an appointment to see if the STAR Center has the high-fidelity manikin right for your training objectives. Click the link below to learn more about the STAR Center.

Brightspace Annotations

Assignments Annotations

Do you use the Track Changes feature in Word to offer feedback? Instructors can now use the built-in annotation toolbar in Assignments to provide contextual feedback with highlighting, free hand drawing, shapes, and associated commenting. This allows instructors to complete all their evaluation and feedback work directly in Assignments, without the need to use any external tools or applications. Annotations remain editable until the feedback is published by the instructor. Upon opening the file you wish to evaluate, you will see an additional toolbar at the top of the content frame.

The features available in the Annotations Toolbar are: 

  • Text highlighting
  • freehand drawing
  • Text annotation
  • Note annotation

Open annotation tools by clicking icons on the right side of the toolbar. The secondary toolbar offers a palate of colors, shapes and graphics to use for contextual feedback. To access, click on the tool, then click in the space you wish to add the feedback. To delete an annotation, click on it then click Delete, click yes in the confirmation box that pops up.

After finishing your annotations, you can then click on Publish and students will be able to see the submission feedback with the annotations. 

Brightspace Learning Object Repository

What is the Learning Object Repository (LOR)?

The LOR is an online library for storing, managing and sharing educational documents, quizzes and images. LORs rely on metadata (identifying information) to help define the document. In the process of publishing your objects to the LOR, be sure to take objects with metadata to classify and organize for ease in searching. You can also review, rate and provide feedback on learning objects. 

Publishing documents in the LOR

The LOR is accessed through the Course Admin menu. To publish objects to your LOR, click on Course Admin > Publish. You will see a menu that walks you through the Publish process.

  1. Choose the file you wish to upload
  2. Choose the appropriate repository
  3. Optional: Choose the appropriate sharing and publishing options
  4. In the Description field, you can add information concerning the use, origin or other unique information on the document
  5. Use the keyword field to add specific words that will help identify the document via search
  6. Click Publish to save the document to the LOR

Retrieving documents from the LOR to your course

In the Content View, use the Upload/Create button to access the LOR. A secondary window will open - you can search for repositories, or use the “Browse By” to open the list of your repositories. 

  1. Click on the number next to each title to access the content
  2. Locate your desired document, either by search or by browsing, and check the radio button to the left. Click Next
  3. Choose the type of link you would like in your course. Click Next
  4. You will see an option to preview the document. Click Create Topic
Learning Management System: D2L and Brightspace


  • Desire2Learn, or D2L, is the online learning management system for MCW
  • D2L supports learning content delivery, technology enhanced learning opportunities, and online learning strategies

Navigating D2L

Learning Management System: Panopto


Allows for anytime, anywhere access to course materials, lecture videos, and content related to MCW courses.

Learn more about the Zoom Panopto integration (PDF).

Panopto Instructor Guide

Secure Electronic Exams


  • MCW's secure platform for high stakes exams
  • By using this platform, MCW is able to practically administer exams and analyze resulting data 
  • Further information is available on or the Teaching Toolbox
  • The Exam Team can be contacted at

Learn more about assessments

Top Hat Audience Response System

Top Hat Audience Response System

  • Web based tool for interactive learning
  • Engages learners and promotes content retention
  • Individual student accounts provide real time information on engagement and learning

Top Hat Audience Response System Request Form

Biolucia Virtual Microscope

Biolucia Virtual Microscope

  • Digital slide collection presented using web technology
  • Allows for personalized viewing of complex histology images
  • Available on and off campus with MCW credentials

Access Biolucia

Anatomage Table

Anatomage Table

  • Life-size interactive anatomy visualization table  
  • Accurate anatomic details
  • Compliments cadaver based dissection courses
  • Invivo software available for custom 3D image development 
  • Contact LMS Help by email or at (414) 955-4290 to request a demonstration

Introduction to the Anatomage Table

Office 365
Office 365 includes the latest version of Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as other services such as Skype for Business web conferencing and online file storage through OneDrive for Business. Office 365 can be installed on work and personal computers.
Box is a cloud-based file storage service which delivers secure file-sharing and easy access from any Internet-connected device.
Qualtrics is online survey software that securely protects MCW data and meets all applicable regulatory compliance. It is the only survey tool approved for use within MCW and data is secured by an enterprise-wide legal agreement.

Contact Us

General Inquiries
(414) 955-4290, Option 2