Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:

If you play it, they will come. . .and learn: The effectiveness of using game show format in medical student teaching

Sara Lauck,Medical College of Wisconsin,Milwaukee,WI,Erica Chou,Medical College of Wisconsin,Milwaukee,WI,Michael Weisgerber,Medical College of Wisconsin,Milwaukee,WI

Background: The use of game show formats as a teaching strategy is gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional didactic lectures in medical education. However, data regarding the learning experience associated with this format are lacking.

Objective: To analyze third year medical students’ perceptions of the educational experience, positive and negative characteristics, and impact on knowledge of game show format teaching.

Methods/Design: Third year medical students (M3) rotating on inpatient pediatrics participated in a 1-hour weekly game show teaching session including elements from various games such as “Cranium” and “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” Afterward, students completed a survey that measured their overall experience, the influence of session characteristics on student learning, and the educational impact of various teaching activities. Likert scales (5-point) for items measuring overall program assessment ranged from Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (5) and for items assessing impact on pediatric knowledge/barriers to learning from low (1) to high (5). We report descriptive statistics (medians) and the comparison of various educational activities (Friedman test with post-hoc Wilcoxon signed-rank test).

Results: Eighty-nine students completed surveys. Aspects of educational experience received a median of 5 (maximum rating) for all items (interaction with faculty members, applicability to wards education, applicability to shelf exam preparation, and enjoyment). Impact of specific factors were also rated a median of 5 for all items (interactive aspects, teamwork, competition, and content). Negative effects/barriers to learning had low median ratings: anxiety (2), embarrassment (1), distraction (1), threatening competition (1). When comparing the impact of various educational activities, game shows were rated higher than rounds teaching (p < 0.001), senior resident teaching (p < 0.001), intern teaching (p < 0.001), and other teaching sessions (p < 0.001). Although having the same median rating, the educational impact of game show sessions was rated higher than direct patient care (p = 0.007).

Conclusions: Game show format teaching, as rated by students, is an effective and enjoyable educational tool with minimal risks to learning. The students reported game show sessions to have a higher impact on their learning than other positive, highly regarded teaching experiences. Further studies could be completed to assess objective measures of knowledge gains provided by game show teaching within medical education.