Use of a Web-based game to teach pediatric content to medical students

Ambul Pediatr. 2008 Nov-Dec;8(6):354-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ambp.2008.07.007. Epub 2008 Oct 5.


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess, using a Web-based format, third-year medical students' pediatric knowledge and perceptions of game playing with faculty facilitation compared with self-study computerized flash cards.

Methods: This study used a repeated-measures experimental design with random assignment to a game group or self-study group. Pediatric knowledge was tested using multiple choice exams at baseline, week 6 of the clerkship following a 4-week intervention, and 6 weeks later. Perceptions about game playing and self-study were evaluated using a questionnaire at week 6.

Results: The groups did not differ on content mastery, perceptions about content, or time involved in game playing or self-study. Perceptions about game playing versus self-study as a pedagogical method appeared to favor game playing in understanding content (P<.001), perceived help with learning (P<.05), and enjoyment of learning (P<.008). An important difference was increased game group willingness to continue participating in the intervention.

Conclusions: Games can be an enjoyable and motivating method for learning pediatric content, enhanced by group interactions, competition, and fun. Computerized, Web-based tools can facilitate access to educational resources and are feasible to apply as an adjunct to teaching clinical medicine.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Problem-Based Learning / methods*
  • Schools, Medical
  • Students, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods*
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Utah
  • Video Games*
  • Young Adult