Why so serious? game-based learning in health profession education: state of the art and future directions

Anne van Gaalen

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    129 Downloads (Pure)


    If you look around carefully, you see a lot of use of game elements that aim to motivate people towards a certain behaviour. From smileys on posts that aim to lower your driving speed, to earning stars in language learning apps. Game-based learning is the use of game elements to make learning more attractive and to encourage people to continue their learning. This is logical right? The longer you learn, the better the outcome. Or not? This doctoral thesis examines the effects of using game-based learning in medical education. Why and when should it be applied? We have investigated whether it is advisable to develop a game suitable for everyone. We discovered that there are 5 different game personas (player types): competitors, socializers, social achievers, explorers and trolls. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to social interactions and achieving goals within a game. From this we were able to develop a taxonomy, which has been tested at almost all medical universities in the Netherlands. It shows that medical students are mainly socially oriented players. While most game based learnings are not at all. This doctoral research can offer perspective in current developments, gives direction where it could go, but also has a critical note on the use of game-based learning that is should not be applied too much.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Jaarsma, Debbie, Supervisor
    Award date22-Feb-2023
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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