Exploring undergraduate students achievement emotions during ward round simulation: a mixed-method study

Claudia C. Behrens*, Diana H. Dolmans, Gerard J. Gormley, Erik W. Driessen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Simulation based learning (SBL) has increased in its use to best equip students for clinical practice. Simulations that mirror the complex realities of clinical practice have the potential to induce a range of emotions, without a clear understanding of their impact on learning and the learner. Students' emotional states have important effects on their learning process that can be either positive or negative, and are often difficult to predict. We aimed to determine: (1) To what extent achievement emotions are experienced by medical students during a complex simulation based learning activity, i.e. a ward round simulation (WRS). (2) What their performance scores are and too which extent performance scores do correlate with emotions and 3) how these emotions are perceived to impact learning. Methods A mixed methods approach was used in this study. Using an Achievement Emotion Questionnaire, we explored undergraduate medical student's emotions as they participated in a complex ward round-based simulation. Their performance was rated using an observational ward round assessment tool and correlated with emotions scores. Six focus groups were conducted to provide a deeper understanding of their emotional and learning experiences. Results Students experienced a range of emotions during the simulation, they felt proud, enjoyed the simulation and performed well. Students felt proud because they could show in the complex simulation what they had learned so far. Students reported moderate levels of anxiety and low levels of frustration and shame. We found non-significant correlations between achievement emotions and performance during ward round simulation. Conclusions Placing undergraduate students in high complex simulations that they can handle raises positive academic achievement emotions which seem to support students' learning and motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number316
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2019


  • Emotions
  • Complex simulation
  • Undergraduate medical students


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring undergraduate students achievement emotions during ward round simulation: a mixed-method study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this