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Effects of Virtual Reality Simulation on Medical Students’ Learning and Motivation in Human Parasitology Instruction

“Gao, Qiu, Chen, Li, Ji, and Zhang’s (2023) research on the effect of VR simulation on the learning and motivation of medical students in human parasitology instruction is one clear evidence that VR can effectively improve the quality of a specific course. Virtual Reality technology has always had a significant impact over time.”

The presence of various advanced technological innovations, such as Virtual Reality (VR), has had a significant impact on a number of learning fields in education. Gao, Qiu, Chen, Li, Ji, and Zhang’s (2023) research on the effect of VR simulation on medical students’ learning and motivation in Human Parasitology instruction materialized to investigate the impact of simulation-based learning activities on students’ subjective assignment scores in Human Parasitology Medical Morphology-related courses. The researchers believe that the impact of VR on learning is already good, but the exploration of the impact on specific learning materials is still very rarely realized.

Furthermore, the research relied on an experimental study method involving 113 medical students, specifically students taking the Human Parasitology course. Basically, human parasitology is an important subject in the field of basic medicine, which covers not only the basics of pathogen morphology but also practical competencies related to laboratory diagnosis and disease prevention and control. In this context, the relationship between immersive technology, namely VR technology, and the field of medical science education is intertwined.

One educational content displayed through VR simulation in this study is a simulated scene of the ‘schistosomiasis’ epidemic in Africa. In it, there are four learning modules: Background, Disease Examination and Treatment, Snail Detection and Elimination, and Health Education. At the end of each module, students answered multiple-choice questions to test their understanding of the content. It took about one hour to complete the entire VR simulation activity. After completing the simulation, students were given a comprehensive assessment, including score evaluation and knowledge gap analysis.

Not only that, the 113 participating students were divided into two experimental groups, namely the simulation group and the lecture group. The simulation group learns using VR, while the lecture group will rely on online lectures. Both groups will simultaneously pass the pre-test, test, post-test, and delayed-test stages carried out three weeks after the post-test. In fact, the difference in results between the experimental group and the lecture group was noted to be very significant.

The results of Gao, Qiu, Chen, Li, Ji, and Zhang (2023) showed that there was a significant difference in students’ post-intervention test scores between the experimental group and the control group (lecture group). Students in the experimental group were also far superior in retaining knowledge significantly better than students in the lecture group. This result was recorded based on the delayed test that was conducted three weeks after the post-test. Finally, for the simulation group, there was a significant increase in students’ subjective task scores after the intervention. In fact, VR simulation has a significant and comprehensive effect ranging from pre-exam assessment, exam results, and evaluation to learning materials that reach the brain after three weeks of using VR.

In the end, the research of Gao, Qiu, Chen, Li, Ji, and Zhang (2023) entitled “Effects of virtual reality simulation on medical students’ learning and motivation in human parasitology instruction: a quasi-experimental study” came to an interesting conclusion. As a result, VR simulation-based learning not only leads to superior learning but also increases students’ subjectivity. This research offers valuable insights into designing effective simulation-based learning experiences in medical education and has significant practical implications for medical educators and professionals. Students in the Medical Morphology of Human Parasitology course were shown to be superior in all aspects when conducting Teaching and Learning Activities (KBM) using VR technology.

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