Who Doesn’t Love a Good Game!
As a new medical terminology instructor, this is how I discovered using games in the classroom.
When my boys were little, we had a Friday night ritual we called Family Fun Night. It consisted of board games and lots of snacks! As my boys grew, I introduced the Family Fun Night into our family holidays.
What fun we have when we come together for games and food.
When I became a new Instructor (4 months fresh!) I was searching for ways to incorporate fun along with learning into my lectures. Having been a student myself, I know what it is like to sit and to listen to a 90-minute talk. Honestly, sometimes not so much fun. One day while writing my lecture, it hit me; why not add fun into my classroom by repurposing Family Fun Night. So, that’s what I did. I’d like to share with you what I observed the games added for my students – enrichment, encouragement, and excitement.
Being a new Instructor teaching Medical Terminology, I felt that not only did I need to make a first good impression, but I knew I needed to gain the trust of my students. I also knew I needed to present topics and discussions that were fresh, high quality, and included some fun.
I moved slowly with the fun part. I started by incorporating funny slides and jumble games into my PowerPoint. Implementing this simple and fun activity during the first week of class was a success for me as a new instructor. It helped the students relax and become engaged with learning and with each other.
I believe it enriched their learning experience.
Students, whether 19 or 99, need encouragement to succeed in the classroom. Since memorizing medical terms can be a daunting task, I realized they would need a lot of encouragement. How could I provide this in my classroom? Games? Maybe! I tried it. It worked!
Students loved it and were encouraged to learn more. It appealed to their competitiveness and they liked showing off what they had learned. I sensed it helped them realize they were learning the language and were motivated to learn more.
Plus winners came away with a snack!
Who doesn’t love a good game? When I watch my students play a game, I see their excitement to play and eagerness to compete. It fills me with so much satisfaction to know that I am doing my job as an Instructor. What a great feeling! Even incorporating a simple game of matching medical terms can bring excitement as well as engagement and enthusiasm. More words that start with E – I think I’m on to something.
As I continue to bring Family Fun Night into my class, I have come across some great tools and resources I would like to share with you.
Please think about incorporating them into your classroom. I am confident that your students will become enriched, be encouraged to learn more and feel excited about learning. And, it doesn’t hurt if you provide snacks too!
Tools and Resources
- Check the online resources that come with the textbook you are using. For example, Basic Medical Language and Exploring Medical Language both have Medical Millionaire (Jeopardy-like game) and Tournament of Terminology games as part of their free online resources.
- Jeopardy Game – you can find templates online. I like to give the winning team $100,000 Grand candy bars.
- Kahoot (kahoot.com) is a game-based learning platform that allows the instructor to create quizzes and introduce them in the classroom. The students download the app onto their phone.
- Write the wrong medical terms on the board. Students get into teams and race to figure out the correct words
- Flashcards/matching game (my favorite). I recently purchased the book Exploring Medical Language. This book has been an excellent resource as a new Instructor. I use the flashcards that come with the text for each lesson I give.
- Jumbles – I like to incorporate jumbles into the middle of my lectures to give students a break. I have found that jumbles are the best for this active learning activity.
- Crosswords and quizzes – I use a crossword and quizzes when I have finished a lecture early and need a good 20-minute activity. Of course, I turn it into a game, well actually a race. I have found the crossword puzzles on medicalterminologyblog.com to be the best for this activity.
- Ectomy game – students have to race against the clock to come up with terms ending in -ectomy.
- Not sure what to do? You can make almost anything into a game.
Anissa McBreen, RHIT
Health Information Technology Instructor
Gateway Community and Technical College