Development of ‘pub quiz’ style revision tests for learning and teaching in Anatomy and Physiology


When did you first introduce the innovation?

Between 12 and 24 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

I came up with the idea of running A&P revision sessions as ‘Pub Quizzes’, that could also be used with ‘Qwizdom’ voting software, if available .

The group was divided into four teams and assigned a team name based on Beatrix Potter characters (Pigling Bland, Squirrel Nutkin, Jeremy Fisher & Tom Kitten). The students were given the choice of having a small prize awarded at the end of the module or paying a nominal entry fee into ‘the prize pot’ each week which would accumulate over five weeks and then be awarded to the team with the highest accumulated score. The group chose the ‘prize pot’ option and opted to pay 20 pence per person per week and I collected this each week. The ten questions were read out by me in my role as quiz master and simultaneously displayed on the data screen. The teams were given an opportunity to discuss the question amongst themselves before recording their answers on a score-sheet. They were also given the option of deciding when to play their ‘Joker’ to double the score on a given week. Teams then swapped papers for marking and the answers were read out one at a time .

As the answers were revealed the teams received feedback and explanations about why answers were correct or incorrect and each week, following the quiz, students were asked to reflect on their learning and think about what areas they would like to revisit in an end of module revision tutorial. Students were also invited to anonymously write down their on-going anxieties and opinions about the lecture sessions on post-it notes and stick them on a flipchart as a means of feedback for me.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

I felt dissatisfied with the didactic approach of the pre-prepared lecture notes I had inherited when I took over the delivery of the module content. I noted that the teaching day was very theory laden and the students were passive for much of that time When considering how best to engage my current student group with often quite complex biological concepts, I thought long and hard about what had worked best in the past, any previous negative student evaluation comments and what range of traditional and digital resources were readily available. I also explored active learning within Chickering and Gamson’s (1987) ‘seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education’ and reflected on how well I had managed to apply these within the module.

In your view, what is it about this innovation that makes it different/important?

The impact of team-working on learning has been well documented (Bolton 1999) and research suggests that there are real benefits to learning where co-operative, team-based, student-centred approaches are used (Ramsey & Couch 1994, Knight & Yorke 2003).

What makes this innovation different is the use of humour to illustrate complex or technical concepts as a way of lessening the gap between student and lecturer and how it can help the student makes sense of biological concepts. It also encouraged camaraderie amongst students who seemed to be naturally competitive and the incentive of a small prize pot served a good motivator to succeed/ be the best .

To what extent does your innovation make use of existing approaches, resources or technologies?

It can be used with an interactive voting system (Quizdom) but can also just as easily be conducted with PowerPoint or just flip-charts or printed hand-outs.

To what degree has this innovation led to changes in education or clinical practice?

It has made re-examine our approaches to learning and teaching and has made us think about the student as an active learner.

What evidence do you have of the impact of the innovation?

On the whole, having looked at the end of module evaluations, from the opinions solicited through on-going student comments and summative assessment (grade) results, the pub-quiz approach has been a success. What came through strongly were the positive comments received around the tutor being….. ‘friendly and approachable………..was effective whilst managing to make learning fun……..I enjoyed the use of humour in class’. From a group of twenty-four students nine achieved distinctions and five achieved merits.

To what degree has the innovation been disseminated in your organisation or elsewhere?

Other tutors delivering the module have adopted this approach.