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      Gamification in Action : Theoretical and Practical Considerations for Medical Educators

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          Abstract

          Gamification involves the application of game design elements to traditionally nongame contexts. It is increasingly being used as an adjunct to traditional teaching strategies in medical education to engage the millennial learner and enhance adult learning. The extant literature has focused on determining whether the implementation of gamification results in better learning outcomes, leading to a dearth of research examining its theoretical underpinnings within the medical education context. The authors define gamification, explore how gamification works within the medical education context using self-determination theory as an explanatory mechanism for enhanced engagement and motivation, and discuss common roadblocks and challenges to implementing gamification.Although previous gamification research has largely focused on determining whether implementation of gamification in medical education leads to better learning outcomes, the authors recommend that future research should explore how and under what conditions gamification is likely to be effective. Selective, purposeful gamification that aligns with learning goals has the potential to increase learner motivation and engagement and, ultimately, learning. In line with self-determination theory, game design elements can be used to enhance learners' feelings of relatedness, autonomy, and competence to foster learners' intrinsic motivation. Poorly applied game design elements, however, may undermine these basic psychological needs by the overjustification effect or through negative effects of competition. Educators must, therefore, clearly understand the benefits and pitfalls of gamification in curricular design, take a thoughtful approach when integrating game design elements, and consider the types of learners and overarching learning objectives.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Self-determination theory: A macrotheory of human motivation, development, and health.

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            Games, Motivation, and Learning: A Research and Practice Model

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              Theoretical perspectives in medical education: past experience and future possibilities.

               V Mann (2010)
              Pedagogical practices reflect theoretical perspectives and beliefs that people hold about learning. Perspectives on learning are important because they influence almost all decisions about curriculum, teaching and assessment. Since Flexner's 1910 report on medical education, significant changes in perspective have been evident. Yet calls for major reform of medical education may require a broader conceptualisation of the educational process. Medical education has emerged as a complex transformative process of socialisation into the culture and profession of medicine. Theory and research, in medical education and other fields, have contributed important understanding. Learning theories arising from behaviourist, cognitivist, humanist and social learning traditions have guided improvements in curriculum design and instruction, understanding of memory, expertise and clinical decision making, and self-directed learning approaches. Although these remain useful, additional perspectives which recognise the complexity of education that effectively fosters the development of knowledge, skills and professional identity are needed. Socio-cultural learning theories, particularly situated learning, and communities of practice offer a useful theoretical perspective. They view learning as intimately tied to context and occurring through participation and active engagement in the activities of the community. Legitimate peripheral participation describes learners' entry into the community. As learners gain skill, they assume more responsibility and move more centrally. The community, and the people and artefacts within it, are all resources for learning. Learning is both collective and individual. Social cognitive theory offers a complementary perspective on individual learning. Situated learning allows the incorporation of other learning perspectives and includes workplace learning and experiential learning. Viewing medical education through the lens of situated learning suggests teaching and learning approaches that maximise participation and build on community processes to enhance both collective and individual learning. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2010.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Academic Medicine
                Academic Medicine
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                1040-2446
                2018
                July 2018
                : 93
                : 7
                : 1014-1020
                Article
                10.1097/ACM.0000000000002183
                29465450
                © 2018

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