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Gamification of Pharmacy Education

  • At: PPR SIG 2021 (2021)
  • Type: Digital
  • By: HOPE, Denise (Griffith University School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Australia)
  • Co-author(s): Denise L Hope, Gary D Grant, Gary D Rogers, Michelle A King
  • Abstract:


    An extended, immersive gamified simulation, PharmG, was implemented as a capstone activity into a new Bachelor of Pharmacy program, from 2016. PharmG was based on the Pharmacy Game, originally developed at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. The 3-week simulation reinforced prior learning and provided students an authentic opportunity to practise as autonomous pharmacists, without risk of patient harm. Gamified aspects included a leader board and continuous scoring of all tasks, with consequences of legal and professional behaviour reflected through positive or negative scoring. Intended learning outcomes were improved teamwork and collaboration, enhanced student confidence, competence and professional development.


    To explore the impact and outcomes of a gamified simulation.


    The three-year evaluation of PharmG utilised a multi-methods approach. Outcomes explored included student competencies, affective learning and experiential learning. Self-assessed competencies were recorded during a controlled trial, in which PharmG participants were the intervention group and students of a superseded Master of Pharmacy program were the comparison group. During PharmG, student reflective journals were analysed quantitively for evidence of affective learning, using a validated scale, and analysed qualitatively, guided by semantic analysis, to explore experiential learning.


    From 2016 to 2018, 123 students participated in PharmG. Participation significantly increased students’ perceptions of their professional competencies for seven of the 26 competency standards, two of the five domains, and all domains combined of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia. Affective learning was evident in students’ reflective journals (n = 734) and increased over the course of the simulation. The dominant themes that emerged from qualitative journal analysis (n = 733) were teamwork, patient-centredness, medicines provision, future practice and the learning experience.


    Gamified simulation positively impacted students’ self-assessed competencies, experiential and affective learning. These are essential elements in the development of pharmacists’ professional identity and competence to practice.

Last update 4 October 2019

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