Digital Games Designed for Pathology Education
R Kanthan. University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Background: Computer-savvy 'net generation' students think and learn in different ways. Incorporation of such technologies within the confines of their education will enhance their educational experience. Digital gaming is an effective, enticing and encouraging way of learning. As pathology teaching hours compete for continued curricular representation, specially designed digital games for pathology education offers an alternative resource to complement the traditional teacher-led activities for the extended learning environment.
Design: Principles underlying game design construction included components of strategic thinking, interpretative analysis, and problem solving thereby contextually bridging the gap between the theory and application of pathology in a fun, entertaining game-like atmosphere. Use centered games were constructed with high time-on-task activities with motivation/goal orientation through rewards, clues, hints and partial solutions to keep progressing and self directing their own learning.
Results: Three educational games were designed with varying levels of complexity for the 'new' incoming first year medical, dental and physical therapy students and second year medical students. Game#1 WORD SCRAMBLE AIM: To familiarize, improve vocabulary and gain expertise in the 'new' language of pathology. Game#2 THE PATH IS RIGHT AIM: To provide a selected review sampling of midterm exam test materials in a fun game like atmosphere Game #3 PATH TO SUCCESS Aim: To provide a comprehensive review sampling of final exam test materials in a fun game like atmosphere. 10 modified questions from this pool were evaluated in the written examination. Feedback was obtained via a semi-structured survey questionnaire. The notion of an electronic game format as an exam review was well received by students who found this a useful and effective review tool. They appreciated the variety of game presentations and enjoyed reviewing the material at their convenience individually or in groups. The examination performance outcome of the game content related questions were superior in comparison to the responses in the remainder of the examination.
Conclusions: Such specially constructed educational digital game activities fosters an improved and facilitated, non threatening learning environment with increased student engagement. There is increased accessibility to the information and ease of distribution with accessibility for self directed learning to occur anywhere as learning is often an 'unplanned' experience.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 1:00 PM
Poster Session VI # 77, Wednesday Afternoon