Short Research Report

Saving student interaction by saving the Starks

H Parkar


Amidst all the confusion with the pandemic, the shift to online learning was an adjustment for both students and lecturers. The loss of face-to-face contact sessions meant the absence of the initial visual diagnostic assessment and the opportunity to consolidate acquired knowledge in real-time. It was also observed that student interest and active engagement on online platforms, decreased as the year progressed and an “online fatigue” ensued. To overcome the difficulties experienced, a gamification-based formative assessment approach was taken. This was done to assess the application of knowledge of first-year medical students acquired during their antibacterial pharmacology narrated lecture. The game, called “ Saving the Starks ” is themed after a popular TV series called Game of Thrones and was created using Microsoft PowerPoint with animated triggers and the soundtrack of the Game of Thrones show to create a truly immersive experience. The game was well-received by students based on the overwhelmingly positive response on the discussion board. The gamification element increased student engagement and helped excite them about the content. The use of popular culture references and the competitive aspect of the game fostered enthusiasm within the learning environment and amongst peers. It also allowed for student-lecturer engagement on a more congenial level creating a pleasant environment for learning.

Author's affiliations

H Parkar, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2021;13(3):191-192. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2021.v13i3.1508

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-10-07
Date published: 2021-10-07

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