Using Game-Based Learning to Teach Refugee Health




Research questions: While interest in the use of game-based learning is public health is increasing, very little is known regarding how game-based learning approaches may be used to teach graduate students about complex topics such as refugee health, human rights, social determinants of health, and cultural appropriateness. The purpose of this exercise was to examine how playing a serious game might impact graduate public health students attitudes and perceptions regarding health determinants and program recommendations.
Methods: Seventeen students enrolled in a graduate-level migrant health course played UNHCR game called âAgainst All Oddsâ for 5 weeks, and were asked to reflect on a set of pre-specified prompts
Results: All seventeen students discussed how playing the game provided insight into the social determinants of refugee health that they would not have received in the classroom setting. All students stated that they would recommend the game as a teaching strategy. Two of 17 students reported that insight on refugee health could have been obtained from other activities (documentaries, personal testimony). Additional themes will be forthcoming.
Conclusions: Game-based learning appears to be a promising approach to engage students about refugee health, human rights, social determinants of health, and cultural appropriateness above and beyond other classroom activities.


Author Biography

Jhumka Gupta, George Mason University

Assistant Professor