When we hear about learning through gaming, we think about games for 5-year-olds or teens, but the fun has no age limits. Histology is quite a challenging subject to learn, it is abstract and vast and yet so beautiful when you understand it, hence the University of Eastern Finland got creative.
Putting the Fun in Finland
The Finnish have been known for implementing alternative learning strategies for a while now and this time around it was the turn of dental and medical students. The professors wanted to see if their students made further progress and had more interest in the subject while using a gaming platform to learn histology.
Since the students need to grasp and manage an incredibly intense amount of information within a limited period, they needed to make the most of it. Understanding that students are keener and more motivated to learn when technology such as webpages and apps that offer gamification of education, was crucial.
One of the main aspects of this experiment came down to giving the students the chance to view histology slides of human samples on their touchpads. They could zoom in and out and generally manage them at will and all the while the professor was explaining what they were looking at.
Moreover, the platform that they used enabled the professor to send some trivia and quizzes to the students, who could answer in real-time from their smartphones. The result was that, although the curriculum was not changed nor lessened, students learned more using these methods than those that studied it traditionally.
Alternative learning methods are slowly making their way into all levels of education.