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Faculty & Staff Honors

South Florida: COPH Uses VR technology to Teach Hurricane Preparedness

The University of South Florida College of Public Health has a new way of educating the community about hurricane preparedness through the use of virtual reality (VR) technology.

Mr. Carlos Montoya, instructional/multimedia developer at the COPH, came up with the idea of using a virtual realty simulation to prepare students and the community for a hurricane after watching a preparedness demonstration video from COPH visiting instructor Ms. Elizabeth Dunn.

“I have worked with Elizabeth before as she has implemented a lot of interactive technological tools within her classes. She is the type of educator who wants her students to interact with each other and the community, so I reached out to her and asked if she wanted to work with me on creating the VR hurricane preparedness training,” Mr. Montoya said.

To start, Ms. Dunn created a transcript and laid out all the content that needed to be included in the training. Mr. Montoya then put this information into a story board and together they met with USF’s Audio Visual Center (AVC).

AVC had the virtual reality software needed to make the training more immersive and they were all on board to help make Mr. Montoya and Ms. Dunn’s vision a reality.

AVC suggested including objects such as hurricane supplies that the user can click on to learn more. There should also be a video aspect.

For the video aspect, Mr. Oddi Diaz, COPH videographer, shot multiple videos of Ms. Dunn explaining how to correctly prepare for a hurricane and what specific supplies are needed based on various scenarios and situations.

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