Computer-Assisted Instruction

In Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI), the learner “clicks through” a series of realistic situations.

Completing a CAI Module to prepare for a simulation.

Excellent for teaching critical thinking and decision making, CAI is used throughout the curriculum at Samuel Merritt University (SMU). Seated at a computer terminal—either in the Health Sciences Simulation Center (HSSC) or the nearby Peralta Computer Laboratory—the learner works at his or her own pace, viewing a healthcare scenario and sometimes manipulating an instrument, responding to prompts, and receiving intelligent feedback at increasing levels of difficulty. Many CAI programs analyze the learner’s performance at the completion of the session.

CAI at SMU ↑ 

Laerdal's Virtual IV®.

The HSSC at SMU has numerous CAI programs, including:

  • Virtual I.V.™ (Laerdal). Teaches intravenous catheterization through more than 150 distinct case scenarios, using realistic 3D graphics and a force feedback device that simulates the sense of touch. 
  • Obstetrics Simulator (Anesoft™). Six high-risk case scenarios.
  • Neonatal Simulator (Anesoft™). Twelve high-risk case scenarios.

Learning “Stations” ↑ 

Instructors at SMU often rotate groups of learners through a series of related activities at different locations, or stations, at least one of which involves interaction with a CAI program.

Software Modules ↑ 

Instructors at SMU may also assign students to complete all or part of a CAI module in preparation for manikin-based simulation sessions scheduled for later. Here is a sampling of SMU’s CAI software programs:

  • Blood-Borne Pathogens
  • Education Global Technology (EDGT)®
  • Critical Care Nursing Skills Series (from Prentice Hall)
  • Software for Nurses (A web-based program)
  • Anesoft™ Anesthesia Simulator
  • Anesoft™ Hemodynamic Simulator
  • Anesoft™ OB
  • Anesoft™ Neonatal


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