Identifying the characteristics of virtual reality gamification for complex educational topics

Jannat Falah, Mohammad Wedyan, Salsabeel F.M. Alfalah, Muhannad Abu-Tarboush , Ahmad Al- Jakheem, Muath Al-Faraneh, Areej Abuhammad, Vassilis Charissis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


Multidisciplinary topics in education pose a major challenge for traditional learning and teaching methods. Such topics can deter students from selecting particular courses or hinder their study progress. This study focused on the subject of medicinal chemistry, which is a discipline combining medicine and chemistry. This combination of applied and basic science creates a complex field of education that is challenging to both teach and learn. Chemical and pharmacological principles are typically presented in 2D molecular structures and, recently, 3D molecular models have been utilized to improve the visualization of chemical compounds and their chemical interactions. Contemporary studies have presented Virtual Reality (VR) as an alternative method for improving the learning and teaching of multidisciplinary specialties such as this. However, current educational efforts employing VR offer limited interactivity and a traditional teaching method previously presented in 2D. This reduces students’ interest and concentration in the taught subjects. This paper presents the development rationale of a novel VR educational application based on the evaluation of the user requirements by 405 pharmacy undergraduate students. The results informed the development and preliminary evaluation of a proposed VR serious game application, which was deployed in a real-life class environment and evaluated in contrast to traditional teaching methods by 15 students. The derived results confirmed the advantages of VR technology as a learning and teaching tool, in addition to the end-users’ willingness to adopt VR systems as a learning aid.
Original languageEnglish
Article number53
Number of pages27
JournalMultimodal Technologies and Interaction
Issue number9
Early online date1 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • virtual reality
  • gamification
  • human computer interaction
  • user experience
  • medical pharmacology
  • medicinal chemistry
  • education equity
  • distance learning
  • user interface design
  • education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Pharmacology
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications


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