This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Examination of Gaming in Nursing Education and the Effects on Learning and Retention




Hodges, Tracey

Type of Degree



Educational Foundations

Leadership and Technology


The college environment brings together adult learners from diverse backgrounds who have different goals, personal and work experiences, and learning styles. These learners have the ability to learn in as many ways as educators have ways to teach them and learn better when actively engaged in the learning process. This reality makes it important for adult educators to incorporate a variety of teaching methods in their courses to meet the needs of these learners. Gaming is one such teaching method, with the potential to reach a wide and diverse population of adult learners. The primary purpose of this study was to examine if the use of gaming would have an impact on learning and retention of knowledge of pediatric cardiovascular dysfunction content. Research questions included: What is the difference on pre and post-test scores of baccalaureate nursing students participating in gaming and traditional lecture methods of instruction? What is the knowledge retention level when using gaming as a method of instruction versus the traditional lecture method of instruction based on final examination scores of baccalaureate nursing students? The sample (N = 96) was a non-probability convenience sample of available nursing students at a southeastern four-year public university. Participants were randomly divided into an experimental and a control group. To determine whether or not learning and retention differed at a statistically significant level, a repeated measures ANOVA was calculated with a significance level of .05. The results (F (2, 93) = 74.07, p < .001) indicated participant learning and retention occurred at a statistically significant level within each group, but no statistically significant difference (F (2, 93) = .654, p = .522) existed between the two groups. The results indicated both traditional (lecture) and non-traditional (gaming) teaching methods are equally effective for enhanced learning and retention of knowledge.