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Med Teach. 2015 Apr;37 Suppl 1:S27-32. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2015.1006609.

Assessment of educational games for health professions: a systematic review of trends and outcomes.

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King Abdulaziz University , KSA .



Traditional lecturing used in teaching has the lowest retention rate; the use of games as part of an instruction method may enhance retention and reinforce learning by creating a dynamic educational environment. This study aims to systematically review the literature on educational games for the health professions to identify trends and investigate assessment tools used to measure its learning outcomes.


Seven databases were used in the search: ERIC, Education Research Complete, Medline, Medline Complete, Academic Search Complete, The Cochrane Library and PubMed.


The search identified 2865 papers; among them, 1259 were excluded and 22 were evaluated. The selection incorporated five full papers which focused directly on the health professionals. Two studies involved the use of board games and two studies involved card games, crossword puzzles and one study involved a team quiz competition. Overall, studies lacked a strong link between the use of games for both instructional and assessment purposes.


Gaming makes a positive impact on the teaching/learning process. However, existing assessment methodologies have been not fully captured the learning that may occur in these games. Robust research is needed to address the use of games that have been assessed objectively.

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