Game-Based Learning: Alternative Approaches to Teaching and Learning Strategies in Health Sciences Education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/purpose. Game-based learning has received increased attention in health sciences education in the global north due to its effectiveness in achieving learning outcomes. The literature concurs that learning outcomes can be improved through appropriate pedagogical approaches. However, more studies need to focus on game-based learning in the health sciences and higher education field in South Africa. This study aimed to explore acupuncture students’ lived experiences with game-based learning at an identified South African university. Materials/methods. The research was grounded within the interpretivist paradigm, employing a qualitative approach, adopting a single-case study design. Results. The findings of this study revealed that game-based learning positively promoted students’ learning experiences and their curriculum outcomes. However, the participants highlighted a few challenges, including a lack of feedback sessions, large student numbers but insufficient facilitators, and an absence of digital games in their university programs. Conclusion. Game-based learning is associated with multiple advantages, including essential skills in the working world. These skills include teamwork, communication, and self-reflection. Although game-based learning is a practical approach to improving learning outcomes in health sciences education, there are still areas that need to be enhanced in order to promote its successful use. Future research can be conducted using different research designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-104
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Process: International Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • acupuncture
  • game-based learning
  • higher education
  • learning outcomes
  • social constructivism theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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