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Simulation of a communication exercise in a helping relationship

Lucie Trépanier
Collège de Maisonneuve, CCDMD

The fourth version of SECRA is a website that simulates a conversation in the context of a helping situation. The scenarios on this website portray clientele who would use the services of various disciplines, including psychology, nursing care, early childhood education and police technology.

The simulation allows the user to engage in a conversation with virtual characters, each with a different personal problem. During the conversation, the user plays the role of the helper in responding to the virtual characters who are asking for help. The objective is to provide as much help as possible. Multimedia aspects, such as voice and images, provide non-verbal clues to create a more realistic simulation. At the end of each conversation, the user receives a report that reviews the dialogue, provides statistics on the most frequent response choices and illustrates in graph form the course of the conversation compared with that of a theoretically ideal conversation.


  • The first version of SECRA was produced in 1985 and included a single character, Charline. The software received an Honourable Mention at the Prix du ministre (1985).
  • SECRA 2 was the first multimedia product created by the CCDMD in 1996. The software included four scenarios based on characters developed by Lucie Trépanier: Charline, Jasmin, Léopold and Mylène. Translated into the English language, these four characters became: Cheryl, Malcolm, Leonard and Joanna.
  • SECRA 3 (2005) consisted of a software update.
  • In 2007, Jules (created by Nicole Lacelle) joined the group of characters to explore the problem of homophobia in the workplace.
  • In 2013, the five characters were united in a new website version of SECRA. By the fall semester of the same year, they had been joined by three new characters: Camille, Julie and Monsieur Morin, created by Karine Robert of Cégep Marie-Victorin, for the purpose of training students and teachers in Early Childhood Education programs.
  • In 2014, a new English-language version with updated vocabulary and voices for the original four scenarios (Cheryl, Malcolm, Leonard and Joanna) went online.

French version also available: SECRA

Honourable Mention – Prix du ministre (1985)

Honourable Mention – Prix du ministre (2014)


Discipline(s) : Nursing techniques 180, Psychology 350, Auxiliary Techniques in Justice 310, Family - Child Care Technology 322
Publication : 2014

Additional documents

Demonstration (8.4 Mo)
Product Summary (1.2 Mo)


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