A Tool For Everyone – CSCR

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Scenario-based learning allows instructors to put course content into compelling story-like contexts where students assume an active role in applying what they learn. Often used in a blended learning environment, these learning activities build connections between complex real-world situations and classroom experiences”

-Blaire Bundy and Les Howles, Consultants and CSCR Builder
co-creators, Academic Technology, Division of Information Technology

 screenshot of CSCR builder

Our [CSCR] project was timeconsuming. Nevertheless, we feel very confident that our time and efforts were well spent as not only have we received positive feedback when this work has been presented at national meetings, but our students and medical trainees have been very enthusiastic about the teaching they received by playing the simulation.”

Sumona Saha, MD - Assistant Professor, Gastroenterology,
School of Medicine and Public Health


Designing a game can facilitate a keen understanding of how powerful stories and context can be in engaging students in course content. It was this understanding that led Brad Hughes from the University of Wisconsin Writing Center and Jan Miernowski from French and Italian to apply for an Engage Innovation Simulations and Games Award to develop what has come to be called the Case Scenario Critical Reader Builder (CSCR) tool.

CSCR Builder is a downloadable authoring tool (for PCs and Macs) that educators can use to present instructional content on the web in the form of interactive cases, scenarios, simulations, or critical reading activities. Instructors have the ability to develop scenarios with decision branching, simulated dialogues, story-like narratives, media rich case studies, and much more. Learners can interact with and explore content or complex texts and make decisions that get immediate corrective feedback.

The case-scenario builder part of the tool provides a framework for integrating multimedia content and making it come alive with interactivity. Interactive case scenarios are successful when the resulting student experience reflects the realities and complexities of professional practice. Ideally, a professional should be able to interact with a interactive case and remark, “This sounds like a day in my life.”

CSCR Builder was developed for the UW-Madison campus community, and has already been used effectively in the School of Medicine and Public Health, the School of Nursing, the College of Letters and Science, and others. CSCR is currently being refined and tested to further its utility. CSCR is currently being used by several instructors in the Engage Adaptation Situated Learning: Case, Story, Place Award. To learn more about the award go to: http://engage.doit.wisc.edu/sl

This site provides examples of case scenarios developed by UW-Madison faculty and gives information for how to download the tool.