Exploring Medical Students’ Learning Around Uncertainty Management Using a Digital Educational Escape Room: A Design-based Research Approach

Dara Cassidy
Harold Bok
Jan Illing
Jenny Moffett
Marco Antonio de Carvalho Filho
Naoise Collins
Soort article
Original Research
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Introduction: Medical professionals meet many transitions during their careers, and must learn to adjust rapidly to unfamiliar workplaces and teams. This study investigated the use of a digital educational escape room (DEER) in facilitating medical students’ learning around managing uncertainty in transitioning from classroom to clinical placement.

Methods: We used design-based research to explore the design, build, and test of a DEER, as well as gain insight into how these novel learning environments work, using Community of Inquiry (CoI) as a guiding conceptual framework. This study represented a mixed methods pilot test of a prototype DEER. Twenty-two medical students agreed to participate, and data were collected through qualitative (i.e., focus groups, game-play observations) and quantitative (i.e., questionnaires) methods.

Results: Eighty-two per cent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that the DEER supported their learning around uncertainty. Participants offered diverse examples of how the game had facilitated new insights on, and approaches to, uncertainty. With respect to the learning environment, multiple indicators and examples of the three domains of CoI – cognitive, teaching and social presence – were observed.

Discussion: Our findings suggested that DEERs offer a valuable online learning environment for students to engage with complex and emotion-provoking challenges, such as those experienced at transitions. The study also suggested that CoI can be applied to the design, implementation, and evaluation of DEER learning environments, and we have proposed a set of design principles that may offer guidance here.


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