Evaluation of affective learning in a gamified pharmacy simulation





pharmacy education, gamification, simulation, affective learning, professional development, students


Introduction: Pharmacy students must achieve learning in the affective domain to attain the professional values that underpin patient-centred practice and self-directed, lifelong learning. An array of learning and teaching activities, including gaming and simulation, are used to achieve affective learning. The aim of this research was to evaluate affective learning in participants of an extended, immersive, gamified pharmacy simulation.

Methods: Student teams managed simulated pharmacies, assuming the role of autonomous pharmacists to complete regular, scaffolded, pharmacy-related tasks and safely provide medicines and counselling. The 3-week gamified simulation was designed to develop teamwork and collaborative skills, while enhancing students’ professional identity, confidence and competencies. Affective learning was assessed via analysis of student reflective journals. Final-year pharmacy students completed debriefing and reflection at specific timepoints during participation in the 3-week gamified simulation. The validated Griffith University Affective Learning Scale (GUALS) was used by trained external assessors to evaluate the highest levels of affective learning detected in student reflective journals. Quantitative analysis of GUALS scores was conducted using SPSS 25. Means were computed per student for each week, regardless of journalling frequency, and changes over time compared.

Results: From 2016 to 2018, 123 students participated in the simulation, generating 734 reflective journal entries for analysis. Overall, affective learning was evident, and its level increased over the course of the simulation. This was primarily associated with the improvements of female students.

Conclusion: An extended, immersive, gamified pharmacy simulation induced and enhanced affective learning in final-year pharmacy students.

Author Biography

Denise L Hope, Griffith University

Lecturer, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences


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How to Cite

Hope, D. L., Rogers, G. D., Grant, G. D., & King, M. A. (2023). Evaluation of affective learning in a gamified pharmacy simulation. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 24(1), 24–37. https://doi.org/10.11157/fohpe.v24i1.572