Now I know how! The learning process of medication administration among nursing students with non-immersive desktop virtual reality simulation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to create and explore an effective and accessible teaching method for the higher education of professionals requiring practical skills. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of our Pharmacology Inter-Leaved Learning Virtual Reality (PILL-VR) simulation when applied to nursing education, as a tool for learning medication administration procedures. A quasi-experimental pretest-intervention-posttest comparison group design was conducted based on quantitative analysis of questionnaires, video recordings and worksheets. Participants were nursing students who either learned medication administration processes with a PILL-VR simulation platform (experimental group; n = 82) or who learned with lecture-based curriculum (n = 47; comparison group). The results revealed significantly higher conceptual and procedural knowledge learning gains following activity with the PILL-VR simulation compared to studying via lecture-based curriculum. PILL-VR exposed the students to their own errors, allowing procedure rehearsal followed by constant feedback which is essential to skill acquisition. Although PILL-VR is based on a desktop system, it facilitated a strong sense of presence. A small positive correlation was found on questionnaire scores between the sense of presence, particularly the sense of control, and conceptual-procedural learning of medication administration. This indicates that by improving students' sense of control in the PILL-VR, the learning process can be improved. Hence, VR simulations may provide affordable and flexible access to practice necessary practical skills in higher education, which is crucial to developing students’ expertise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-27
Number of pages12
JournalComputers and Education
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the Cheryl Spencer Institute of Nursing Research, University of Haifa and by the MEITAL Foundation which assists Israeli institutions of higher education in advancing the use of e-learning technologies.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Higher education
  • Nursing education
  • Simulation
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)
  • Education


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