Acceptability and effectiveness of a 3D virtual reality cardiovascular lesson

Introduction: The aim is to describe a preliminary pilot incorporating 3D virtual reality (VR) into a cardiovascular problem-based learning (PBL) lesson. Methods: A paramedic cohort of students (<i>n</i>=19) took part in a 12-lesson anatomy and physiology module. Multiple choice question results from the cardiovascular PBL lesson were compared with the multiple choice question results from other organ system PBL lessons. In addition, a questionnaire was answered by 15 students assessing acceptability of the lesson. Results: The authors found that when students used VR materials, they achieved significantly better results compared with the non-VR lessons. Over 80% of students thought that VR-based PBL exercises brought the cardiovascular anatomy to life and was a useful learning tool. Conclusion: The use of VR in a PBL learning environment has a significant positive effect on the performance of the students and is valued by students as useful. It may therefore be beneficial to integrate VR-based learning into emergency medicine training.

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