Designing a Simulation showcasing the Pharmacological Effects of Beta-2-Agonists in Asthma Treatment; Virtual Reality as a supplement to traditional teaching methods
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As educational technology evolves, there is a growing interest in applying VR in teaching complex scientific concepts that benefit from a visual and immersive learning environment. Motivated by the promising results of VR in medical education across multiple disciplines, we aimed to investigate the applicability and effectiveness of this technology in pharmacology education. This discipline, which involves understanding how drugs work within the human body, is often considered complex and challenging for students. However, it is a critical component of medical education and is essential in treating and preventing various diseases. The study was driven by two research inquiries. The primary inquiry aimed to explore the potential design possibilities of a virtual reality (VR) simulation for visualizing the pharmacological effects of beta-2-agonists in asthma treatment. The secondary question focused on evaluating the perspectives of students and educators regarding the efficacy of the VR application in learning pharmacology concepts compared to conventional teaching approaches. The application underwent two rounds of evaluation sessions with both students and teachers. Participants responded positively to the immersive learning experience, particularly appreciating the detailed visualizations and interactivity offered by the VR application. Their feedback highlighted the potential of VR to create a more intuitive understanding of complex pharmacological processes. Despite the evaluation phase featuring a limited number of participants, the received feedback suggested a promising potential for VR as an additional tool. The study, therefore, serves as a proof of concept, showcasing the possibilities of VR in enhancing pharmacology education and paving the way for future research and development in this area.