[The following notes were generated by Thomas Thesen, Ph.D.]
Presenters: Teresa Chan MD (McMaster University, Canada), Satid Thammasitboon MD, MHPE (Baylor College of Medicine, USA) Eric Gantwerker MD, MS, MMSc(MedEd), FACS, AFAMEE (Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, USA)
Card and Board Games for Health Professionals Education
The Winter 2023 IAMSE Webinar Seminar Series, titled “Not Just Fun & Games: Game-based Learning in Health Professions Education,” had its fourth session on Thursday, February 2. This series explores the benefits of using games in healthcare education and offers strategies for incorporating different types of games into the basic science curriculum. It covers existing literature on the theories behind using games in medical education and the results of recent research studies on the topic. The series also features speakers who will provide practical tips for implementing game-based learning in the classroom. The fifth session was presented by Dr. Teresa Chan, Dr. Eric Gantwerker and Dr. Satid Thammasitboon and was titled “Foresight, Insight & the Quest: Transforming Learning through Game-Based Learning”.
Drs. Chan, Gantwerker and Thammasitboon started by defining their definition of “Gamification”, a term that refers to the use of video game elements to improve user experience and engagement in non-gaming systems. With the rise of ‘gamified’ applications, there is a wealth of research on the heuristics, design patterns and dynamics of games and their positive impact on user experience. Gamification and serious games in education are similar in that both utilize elements of games to improve the learning experience, but they differ in their primary goal. Gamification involves adding game-like elements to non-gaming systems to increase user engagement and motivation, whereas serious games are specifically designed for educational or training purposes, using games as the primary medium to deliver content and achieve learning objectives. In other words, gamification takes a broader approach to using game elements in a variety of contexts, while serious games are specifically designed for educational outcomes. The presenters explain their approach to educational program activities by integrating faculty development, design thinking, best practices, evaluation tools, a community forum, research and a start-up arm.
The presenters stated that Game-Based Learning (GBL) has the potential to revolutionize medical science education. The idea that “gameful engagement is mostly entertainment today but it will evolve into the most powerful learning medium in history” suggests that GBL will have a future place in medical education. In medical science education, GBL offers several benefits, such as providing a more interactive and engaging way to learn complex concepts, allowing for simulation and practice in a safe environment, and promoting problem-solving skills and critical thinking. As technology continues to advance, the possibilities for GBL in medical science education will likely expand, allowing for more immersive and realistic simulations, and potentially even incorporating virtual and augmented reality elements. Overall, the presenters argue that the future of GBL in medical science education has the potential to greatly enhance the way medical professionals are trained and educated. They also stated that game-based education has the potential to be the most effective way of learning and growing because it taps into our natural desire for interaction and engagement. By incorporating elements of play and competition, game-based learning can create a more dynamic and engaging educational experience. This approach can also foster collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. They further prophesize that ““the psychology and technology from games will transform education at every level and across every industry.”
They further offer insight into the evolution of gamification in medical education As Game-Based Learning (GBL) becomes more prevalent in medical science education, there are also challenges to be considered. Challenges or threats include: Ensuring the quality and accuracy of the educational content within the game. Balancing the competitive aspect with the educational goals. The potential for distraction and oversimplification of complex medical concepts. The need for effective evaluation and assessment of learning outcomes.
Drs. Chan, Gantwerker and Thammasitboon proposed that teaching the tools of game designers to medical educators who are serious about games is seen as a crucial step in catalyzing personalization, motivation, and engagement in learning. By incorporating cognitive and technological elements used by game designers, educators can enhance the learning experience and foster more active and engaged learners. They believe that in order to optimize the potential of Game-Based Learning (GBL) in advancing medical science education, it is important to capitalize on the opportunities and address the challenges in four key areas: Innovation, Learning, Sustainability, and Well-being. This can involve utilizing the latest technology and game design techniques, fostering a learning-centered approach, ensuring sustainability and accessibility, and incorporating considerations for student well-being into the design This can involve utilizing the latest technology and game design techniques, fostering a learning-centered approach, ensuring sustainability and accessibility, and incorporating considerations for student well-being into the design. By approaching GBL in a strategic and holistic manner, it is possible to improve the overall learning experience for students and advance medical science education. By approaching GBL in a strategic and holistic manner, it is possible to improve the overall learning experience for students and advance medical science education. Drs. Chan, Gantwerker and Thammasitboon concluded their presentation by suggesting popular non-fiction books for those who are further interested in game psychology, design and application.