Improved Training for Disasters Using 3-D Virtual Reality Simulation

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of virtual reality simulation (VRS) on learning outcomes and retention of disaster training. The study used a longitudinal experimental design using two groups and repeated measures. A convenience sample of associate degree nursing students enrolled in a disaster course was randomized into two groups; both groups completed web-based modules; the treatment group also completed a virtually simulated disaster experience. Learning was measured using a 20-question multiple-choice knowledge assessment pre/post and at 2 months following training. Results were analyzed using the generalized linear model. Independent and paired t tests were used to examine the between- and within-participant differences. The main effect of the virtual simulation was strongly significant (p < .0001). The VRS effect demonstrated stability over time. In this preliminary examination, VRS is an instructional method that reinforces learning and improves learning retention.



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