Gaming: A strategy to engage nursing students in learning ageing

Maree Bernoth, Ryun Fell, Lynette Croxon, Denise Winkler, Ben Atkinson, Susan Theobald, Amali Hohol

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The focus for discussion at the roundtable session will be related to a project that is currently in progress and involves academics from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health and staff of DSL. The team is developing an on-line game with the aim of enhancing learning and teaching in the subject focused on ageing, NRS221 Life stage considerations: The older person, in the Bachelor of Nursing degree. The aim of the strategy will be achieved by engaging learners through technology-mediated and game-based learning.

Tulip and Bossomaier (2013) acknowledge that gaming is widely used in the education of professionals and recognise the value of games in impacting attitudes, critical thought and professional communication. Impacting attitudes towards learning about ageing is one of our driving ambitions with this strategy as we have experienced what Annear, Lea and Robinson (2014) found that student nurses generally have negative opinions about aged care. Abbey et al. (2006) likewise note the negative opinions of students about aged care and link these negative opinions to career plans to avoid the industry. Billings and Halstead describe the advantages of games in nursing education as increasing cognitive and effective learning, that they are fun/exciting, motivate adult learners to take responsibility for their own learning and can connect practice experiences to theory (as cited in Mawhirter & Garofalo, 2016, p.133).

Yet, to develop the game involves expertise from academics, story tellers and gamers. Subject content knowledge is needed from academics in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health to create authentic story lines and branching scenarios. The scenarios encountered in the game need to align with the learning outcomes for the subject (NRS221) and ANMAC Accreditation. A skilled and sensitive story teller has been invaluable in guiding the development of the storylines and breathing life into the subject matter. The staff from DSL, LDU and LRU are the gaming experts but they require information to be presented in a way that is congruent with developing the final product.Bringing this diverse range of skilled people together requires time to form true collaborations and to make this vision a reality. Yet making this happen has provided challenges; it is the strategies used to overcome the challenges that we want to share through the round table discussion. This round table is focused on discussing the strategies we have used and have been integral in the formation of a team which has led to the successful development of the game. It is then aimed at generating discussion about how these strategies can be improved on and sustained so that future collaborations across schools and services can enable creativity and engagement in the subjects and teaching material provided to students of CSU.


Abbey, J., Abbey, B., Bridges, P., Elder, R., Lemcke, P., Liddle, J., & Thornton, R. (2006). Clinical placements in residential aged care facilities: the impact on nursing students' perception of aged care and the effect on career plans. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 23(4), 14-19. Retrieved from

Annear, M., Lea, E., & Robinson, A. (2014). Are care workers appropriate mentors for nursing students in residential aged care? BioMed Central Nursing, 13(1), 44. doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0044-8

Mawhirter, D. A., & Garofalo, P. F. (2016). Expect the Unexpected: Simulation Games as a Teaching Strategy. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 12(4), 132-136.

Tulip, J., & Bossomaier, T. (2013). Drama and leanring technologies: To affinity spaces and beyond. How Drama Activates Learning. Contemporary Research and Practice, 226.

Discussion points

How can cross discipline and inter-service provision converge to develop a meaningful yet fun way of learning that align with CSU values and subject learning outcomes?What support is needed for future multimedia projects at CSU to promote collaborations in the development of teaching and learning strategies?

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventCSUed 2017: Value teaching - CSU's distinctive learning experience - Charles Sturt University, Orange, Australia
Duration: 21 Jun 201723 Jun 2017 (Conference website)


ConferenceCSUed 2017
Abbreviated titleQuality Learning and Teaching: Transforming our teaching both on campus and online
Internet address


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