The effects of simulation-based education on medical students' motivation

Int J Med Educ. 2021 Jun 29;12:130-135. doi: 10.5116/ijme.60c0.981e.


Objectives: To assess the effects of simulation-based education on medical students' motivation and to compare these effects with the motivational effects of a classical teaching approach (seminar).

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, motivational qualities of 164 3rd year medical students, who participated in four mandatory simulation-based training and two seminars of the department of anaesthesiology, were assessed. Comparative analysis was made to determine differences and changes of motivation towards participating in each teaching unit and each teaching format, using a one-way analysis of variance and unpaired t-tests.

Results: The different motivational qualities, as well as the computed levels of autonomous and controlled motivation of students towards participating in each of the six teaching units and each teaching format did not differ significantly (F (5, 839) = 0.66, p = 0.657; F (5, 839) = 0.29, p = 0.920; (t (843) = - 0.72, p = 0.471; t (843) = -0.17, p = 0.868). Students` motivation, particularly autonomous motivation, did not enhance after participating in the first SBME, (t (264) = 1.035, p = 0.301), after participating in the second SBME, (t (254) = -0.055, p = 0.956), or after participating in the third training (t (250) = -0.881, p = 0.379).

Conclusions: Simulation-based medical education provides a valuable teaching approach but, in this study, this teaching approach did not enhance nor stimulate student motivation. Therefore, simulation-based medical education equals classical teaching approaches regarding student motivation. Further investigations are needed to identify how simulation-based medical education could enhance medical students' motivation.

Keywords: construction of medical curricula; learning; motivation; simulation-based medical education; teaching approaches.