If you PLAY SMART, will YOU be MORE?

“TEACH your students • to DOUBT, • to THINK, • to COMMUNICATE, • to question, • to make MISTAKEs, • to LEARN from their mistakes, and most importantly • have FUN in their learning” Richard Feynman`s quote

In the Institute of Biomedicine, University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Kuopio, Finland, as one of the flag-ship young universities in Scandinavia, new, more effective and thought-evoking TEACHing programme to medical and dental students was started to set up in 2016. In practice, a student-centered learning and a whole-slide imaging system were introduced to DOUBT GEN Z`s interest and improve critical THINKing during histology curse. Using big touch sensitive screens students were able to COMMUNICATE during collaborative, peer-to-peer learning and peer-to-peer teaching. As a result, the curriculum reform PROMOTED students` LEARNing when virtual microscopy was combined with a student-centered approach compared to traditional microscope-based teacher-oriented scenario. Moreover, students exposed to this new methodology excelled on the final exam 1.

In 2018 we continued to paid outsized attention in Morphology education, when more effective and thought-evoking teaching program to medical and dental students was adopted via introducing an interactive and online assessment, a gaming software Kahoot®. Although there are evidenced based data, that support the positive effect of gamification in collaborative learning, which may also develop critical appraisal skills2, however there was no earlier practice-based advanced research on morphological science education in this context.

The gamification program was successful and resulted in significant learning gains in students. The overall participant satisfaction with the course was high and students indicated that gamification increased their motivation in a relaxed scenario with FUN. The approach enabled students to learn from MISTAKEs, overcome individual difficulties and to set up collaboration; furthermore, gamification promoted interest, and the respondents found the immediate feedback from senior professionals to be positive. In the open-ended survey, the students viewed collaborative team- and gamification-based learning positively and the last FEYMAN`S POINT were also recognised in the overwhelming majority of student`s anonym answers: learning morphology in such scenario is FUN.

WHAT IS OUR SECRET? A whole-student-centered, research-and-evidence based education system, run in a virtual environment by professionalised educators. These are education best practices, not UEF quirks, more importantly applicable everywhere. So we might wish to market a new slogan for future GEN Z´s career success “If you PLAY SMART, you will BE MORE” 3.

Come, my friends, ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.”                                                                 Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

SZABOLCS FELSZEGHY, D.D.S., Ph.D., is a senior researcher working at the Institute of Biomedicine, School of Medicine at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland. He teaches anatomy and histology and has a high interest in technology-enhanced learning to support learner gain; his research interest is in age-related macular degeneration.