Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 1272-1277
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Educational videogames and immersive learning simulations are becoming a powerful tool in education. In undergraduate medical, practical sessions education are often costly. They also have to face constraints in terms of available laboratory time and practice materials (e.g. blood samples from animals), making it difficult to increase the time each student spends at the laboratory. This study investigates the employment of a low-cost simulation to allow medical students to rehearse a practical exercises through a web-based e-learning environment. The aim is to maximize the efficiency of the allocated laboratory time and resources by letting the students get familiarized with the equipment and the procedures before they attend a laboratory session, but without requiring large-scale investments.
We approached this issue by creating a simulation that covers the steps of one particular practical exercise in a physiology course: measuring hematocrit in a blood sample. While the experimental group (EG) played the simulation one week before the laboratory session, the control group (CG) of students attended the laboratory session without playing the simulation. After the laboratory session, all the students completed a survey about their perception of the difficulty of the exercise. Moreover, the EG group also completed a survey about their satisfaction with the experience.
Most of the students in the EG group reported that the experience was positive or very positive, and considered that it helped to identify and use the equipment and to perform the exercise. Besides, the majority of the EG group considered that similar simulations covering other practical exercises would be highly beneficial.
After the laboratory session, the perceived difficulty of the procedure was lower on average in the EG compared to the CG (3.52 vs. 4.39, 95% CI: 0.16–1.57, P = .016). There was no significant difference in terms of perceived difficulty using the equipment. The HCT measures reported by the EG group also presented a much lower dispersion, meaning a higher reliability, in determining the HCT value (3.10 vs. 26.94, SD; variances significantly different, P < .001, F: 75.25, Dfd: 68.19 for EG and CG). In the satisfaction test, the majority of the students in the EG reported that the experience was positive or very positive (80.7%) and reported that it had helped them to identify and use the equipment (78%) and to perform the exercise (66%).
Medicine, Phisiology, virtual learning.