E-learning Virtual Patients for Geriatric Education

Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2008;28(3):73-88. doi: 10.1300/J021v28n03_06.


Computer-based virtual patients (VPs) are an emerging medium for medical education that addresses barriers faced by geriatrics educators. Research has shown VPs to be as effective in changing knowledge and behavior as more traditional forms of teaching. This paper presents a descriptive study of the development of the University of Iowa's GeriaSims VP programs and their effectiveness as tools for geriatric education. More than 85% of the responses to an evaluation survey of GeriaSims users indicated favorable perceptions of instructional effectiveness, efficiency, and ease of use. GeriaSims VP programs were used effectively by multiple levels of learners and provide flexibility to these learners in scheduling their learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Computer Simulation
  • Education, Distance / organization & administration*
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration
  • Geriatrics / education*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Program Evaluation