Re-Imagining Health and Medicine Education: Implementing a Mobile-Based Gamification App for Improved Affective Learner Engagement

Re-Imagining Health and Medicine Education: Implementing a Mobile-Based Gamification App for Improved Affective Learner Engagement

Nicolene Lottering, Iris Lim, Suzanne Gough
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6500-4.ch009
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Gamification is an active-learning approach commonly used in education to promote learner engagement. This chapter provides an overview of how gamified approaches can be applied to enable university students comprising of Generation Z and Y learners, to access authentic learning resources to self-regulate their learning in preparation for assessment. Methods and flexible strategies that can be incorporated into undergraduate and postgraduate education programs worldwide are provided. Three case studies illustrate the use of technology-enhanced weekly quizzes to optimise student engagement, knowledge retention, and academic performance. Key educational theories and practices that underpinned the case studies include social constructivism, disuse theory, and complexity theory alongside the use of scaffolding, chunking, flipped classroom, deliberate practice, and periodic revisitation. The chapter concludes with 12 pearls of wisdom to optimize leaner engagement using a gamified approach to enhance the students' ability to self-regulate their learning and achieve their learning goals.
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As higher education curricula continue to be condensed through accelerated degree programs, which feature integrated teaching and learning activities on-campus, remotely and at clinical sites, efficient learning strategies in university is increasingly critical. In degree programs such as Medicine and Physiotherapy, discipline knowledge and innovation in practice continues to compound at an accelerating pace. The pre-requisite for long-term and rapid knowledge retention of information obtained in early years of their studies will contribute to competence and future professional practice. As generation Z learners (born 1997-2010) return to University campuses (or digital classrooms), it is clear that the pervasive influence of digital exposure has impacted their learning preferences, needs and attitudes (Shorey et al., 2021). Academic faculty members and learning designers are astutely aware that the majority of healthcare students belong to the generation Z (undergraduate enrollments) and generation Y (post-graduate) cohorts, who are immersed in a predominantly digital world through social activities, work, and study (García-Viola et al., 2019). The effective use of technology in blended learning initiatives, including gamification, is well documented in the feat to address student retention and declining levels of student engagement, attributed to this generation now entering college/university education. The rapid advancement of technology has significantly changed society and the way of human learning across the educational sector and social culture. This places a new demand for adaptation to this growing confluence between the digital and education worlds by reforming and re-imagining traditional pedagogical methods and approaches with technology implementation. Shorey and colleagues (2021) provide some insights to healthcare educators of generation Z students on how to create a vibrant learning community using creative approaches that combine technology, social media, active-learning, online modules, and social interactions to develop critical thinking skills and foster affective engagement. It appears that generation Z have questioned the value-add of higher education in the United States, with the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (2022) reporting a 4.1% decline in undergraduate degree-program enrollments between spring 2021 and 2022, and total decline of 7.4% or 1.3 million students since 2020. If Universities are unable to reflect on current challenges in light of post-COVID patterns and generation changes in students, issues pertaining to retention, engagement and, consequently the acquisition of skills required by the labour market are foreseen. For school leavers that opt to embark upon tertiary education, the expectations of “value-add” will be at the forefront, as first-year retention is brought into the limelight, as higher education competes against global online learning platforms such as Coursera (

Key Terms in this Chapter

Generation Z: Refers to learners born approximately between 1995 – 2015.

Active Learning: Learning activity where learner participates and interacts with the process.

Student Engagement: The extent of attention, interest, and passion that learners show during the learning and teaching process.

Gamification: Implementation of game design elements into traditionally non-game contexts.

Game-Based Learning: Is a pedagogical approach that aims to motivate students/learners to regulate their own learning.

Spaced and Paced Learning: Refers to learning activities featuring highly condensed learning content being repeated several times interspersed with short breaks with distractor activities.

Generation Y: Refers to learners born approximately between 1981 – 1995, or commonly referred to as Millennials.

Retrieval Practice: This focuses bringing key information to the forefront of a learner’s mind instead of cramming.

Edutainment: The use of entertainment for educational purposes.

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