Innovations In Board Games Increases Students’ Interest In Hematology | Universiti Putra Malaysia
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Innovations in board games increases students’ interest in hematology

By Azman Zakaria                                               

Photo Noor Azreen Awang 

SERDANG: Researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) have successfully developed two innovative 'three-in-one' educational board games and a website to increase students' interest in hematology.

These interactive games are intended to enhance the study of Hematology that complements traditional lectures.

The Blood Genius board game is based on the traditional snake and ladder board game, but with several modifications such as the inclusion of question and answer cards to increase the proficiency of Hematological among players while Blood Mania is a rapid answer board game on Hematology that can be played by two or more individuals or teams.

The website, MyHematology, contains information on hematological disorders as well as images and videos as references, and it also contains quizzes and case studies that allow students to assess themselves in their own space and time.

Head of the research group, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lai Mei I from the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UPM, said although Hematology is a subject with a lot of information, currently, there is no Hematology gamification available in the market.

“These innovations aim at improving students’ interest and attention,” she added.

Blood Genius has a total of 360 cards consisting of 200 BASIC cards (orange), 100 INTERMEDIATE cards (blue) and 60 APPLICATION cards (purple).

The design of the main board is similar to the traditional snake and ladder board game. There are 100 square boxes arranged in one large square as the main component and various blood vessels and coagulation mesh with red blood cells as the 'snake' and 'ladders', respectively.

According to Dr. Lai, the cards have three levels of difficulty, basic, intermediate and application which are subdivided into four categories of Hematology.

She said there are several ways to play the game, depending on the time allowed and the objective of the game.

In Blood Mania, each individual/team must answer as many questions as possible from the same colour box within one minute before the sand runs out on the hourglass. The individual/team with the highest number of cards collected wins the game. She said the board game includes question cards, a board game, a dice, five 3D game tokens and an instruction leaflet. An hourglass is included in Blood Mania. According to Dr. Lai, a survey conducted on students who have tested the board game showed that the game achieved its objective in improving students’ proficiency in the subject. They also agreed that the game was an excellent way to increase their knowledge, and the games also promoted interactions among the students and peer learning through discussions, especially in Blood Genius. The website allows students to have information at their fingertips, thus helping them to better understand the lectures. "In general, players of the board games find the games engaging and help in strengthening their knowledge of the subject in the comfort of their own learning and with the help of their peers," she said. 

The innovation won the bronze medal at the Putra Innocreative Competition 2018 and also at the International University Carnival on e-Learning (IUCEL) 2018.

Other members of the research team were Dr. Eusni Rahayu Mohd Tohit, Dr. Faridah Idris, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sabariah Md Noor, Dr. Zainina Seman and Dr. Mas Rina Mustaffa. - UPM

Date of Input: 17/12/2019 | Updated: 17/12/2019 | hairul_nizam

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