UBC Research Demonstrates Effectiveness of Interactive Educational Games
Games are known to have higher engagement rates and learning retention in education. To what extent do learners find the game applications helpful?
In a recent gamification study published by Dr. Lillian Hung at the UBC School of Nursing, an online game for dementia education was developed and then played by 3000 staff across 10 hospitals and 10 long term care homes in Vancouver.
Playing the dementia educational game
In the research, the dementia education game offers interactive scenarios that staff can encounter on the job. Learners have the objective of learning each concept behind person-centered care before correctly answering questions to score points. The game was made available online in desktop, mobile, and tablet devices.
Results of the gamification research
After the staff played the game, they were invited to fill out a survey. The survey data compiled from the population of 3000 staff in hospital and long-term care homes revealed the effectiveness of interactive educational games:
- 90% found the online game education fun
- 93% found that they were able to learn about person-centered care
- 90% could answer all 10 questions in the game correctly
- 95% would recommend the game to others
Benefits of game based learning applications in education
From the survey, participants also expressed open comments about their experience. This included their experiences on what they found particularly effective in learning through an online game as opposed to traditional settings.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many educators in healthcare could not provide traditional classroom training. Gamified learning using the dementia education game increased accessibility as the app could be accessed online.
In traditional online learning, there is often minimal engagement or participation that involves critical thinking. Gamification adds the benefit of allowing the learner to actively participate and reinforce their learning. In the research, staff felt more motivated to learn as the game was fun and relatable.
Many learners, such as healthcare workers, have busy schedules. Staff expressed that they enjoyed the flexibility of being able to learn in short sessions at their own pace as opposed to a structured classroom lecture.
Safe learning environment
The interactiveness of games provides a simulated and safe environment for learners. In the research, staff expressed that they appreciated being able to practice applying their responses to scenarios that would otherwise be high risk on the job. This increased the relevance and practicality of the learning.
When learners are engaged and have fun in their learning, they are likely to share their experiences with others. Game mechanics such as leaderboards can also encourage greater participation among learning groups and knowledge retention through repeated playthroughs. From the research, educators reported that staff actively shared the learnings from the game with others and began using the terms they learned from the game in their work.
Behind the scenes: The game was built with the help of George at Raccoopack Media!
The dementia education game was developed in collaboration with our president, George at Raccoopack Media. We are proud that the educational game has been instrumental in creating an engaging, safe, and practical e-learning resource to improve healthcare quality in Canada.
If you are interested in learning about our development processes with healthcare applications, you can visit our patient care mobile app case study.
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