The integration of mobile learning app-based quiz-games in higher education teaching of anatomical sciences

DProf thesis

Wilkinson, K. 2017. The integration of mobile learning app-based quiz-games in higher education teaching of anatomical sciences. DProf thesis Middlesex University Science and Technology
TypeDProf thesis
TitleThe integration of mobile learning app-based quiz-games in higher education teaching of anatomical sciences
AuthorsWilkinson, K.

Background: Mobile learning (mLearning) and gamification are two potential pedagogical tools that are continuously evolving in Higher Education. Their efficiency as learning tools is not fully understood and their use by staff is sporadic and sometimes viewed poorly compared to traditional methods.
Aim: To determine a framework of best practice for the integration of mLearning app based quiz-games into the Higher Education (HE) teaching of anatomical sciences. This thesis presents three studies, which aim to 1) evaluate mLearning quiz-games as a revision tool for an anatomy online examination 2) and 3) investigate the effect of pre-seminar mLearning quiz gameplay on knowledge acquisition, retention and engagement in anatomy.
Method: The data collection was performed over a two year period in a level 4 anatomy module for Sport and Exercise Science students. All three studies employed an experimental mixed methods approach within an action research framework to allow the development of the project in a naturalistic way. Study One was completed over two cohorts, 2014-15 (n=125) and 2015-16 (n=121). The module has four assessment points, A1, A2, A3, A4 where A1-3 are online assessments with a mixture of Multiple Choice Questions, labelling and matching questions and A4 is a viva voce. Students did A1, A2 and A4 as normal but at A3 they were offered a choice to revise as normal, the control group (n= 164) or to play mLearning games (n=87) for 15 minutes prior to the assessment on a tablet or smartphone device. All students completed a modified Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ) post-assessment and then for triangulation of data online focus groups were completed (n=84) as well as extended semi-structured interviews (n=9). Study Two was completed in 2015-16 using the same module as Study One. Over two consecutive weeks students were videoed in a two hour seminar session where in week one they did 15 minutes of no formal class preparation (n=87) and in week two they did 15 minutes of mLearning games (n=87). Students did a plenary and recap class Socrative quiz every week where the plenary scores indicate knowledge acquisition and the difference between the plenary and recap scores of subsequent weeks indicates knowledge retention. Observational behavioural engagement analysis was completed using an adapted coding system and students completed the National Survey of Student Engagement following each seminar. Study Three was completed on the same cohort in semester two using a randomised repeated measures design for the knowledge acquisition and knowledge retention scores over three weeks with three 15 minute interventions; Games, Control and Games plus question generation before class.
Results: Study One found that the Games group performed better at A3 with no difference at A2 or A1 (p<0.0.01) but no differences were found in the SPQ surface and deep learning motives and strategies. Students revealed reasons for using mLearning quiz-games were primarily the fun, visual stimulation, instant feedback and accessibility. Study Two found that playing quiz-games prior to class increased on-task behaviours and peer interaction and improved knowledge acquisition and retention scores (p<0.01). Study Three agreed but found no difference in the Games-plus questions group compared to the control or games groups.
Conclusions: The studies reveal the positive effect that mLearning quiz-games can have on achievement and engagement both in class and as a revision tool prior to assessment. The results of all three studies have been used to inform the proposed Mobigames framework for the integration of mLearning quiz-games in HE teaching. The framework has four key aspects: Information, Facilitation, Learning and Timing.

Department nameScience and Technology
Institution nameMiddlesex University
Publication dates
Print28 Jun 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Jun 2017
Accepted14 Jun 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Permalink -

Download files

Accepted author manuscript
  • 38
    total views
  • 80
    total downloads
  • 11
    views this month
  • 17
    downloads this month

Export as