Games with aims – flipped learning and interactive teaching


When did you first introduce the innovation?

Between 12 and 24 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

Within the medical ultrasound programme at City University London, we have ‘flipped’ the classroom, so that students work through on-line lectures at home, prior to face-to-face interactive sessions at the university. We then use the lecture time to demonstrate cases linked to the on-line lectures, ask students to describe appearances, write reports, suggest a diagnosis and consider the management of the case. In addition to this we use games and simulation to help understanding and improve student engagement. Games include bespoke versions of bingo, crosswords, card games, Monopoly and pass the parcel (at Christmas). We also use personal response systems (classroom clickers) within the sessions, to determine the level of understanding within a group of students, allowing more personalised development of a session. When it is clear that there is limited understanding of an issue or topic, the lecturer can focus on this in more detail and provide additional explanations. Results from these sessions can be saved and each student has an individual ‘clicker’ which can help to assess whether specific students need more support – this is an area we are developing further for the future.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

The rationale for this development is to allow students to review basic material on-line, this can then be supplemented by discussion of cases, review of difficult areas and tailored lecture time to adapt to the needs of the student cohort. It allows students to consolidate their learning and apply the knowledge to practice and enables staff to determine the level of understanding of the group. The use of games and simulation help to make learning fun, interactive and develop students’ communication, team working and critical thinking skills, which are essential for their level of practice after completion.

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

The on-line lectures provide students the option to review them as often as required, which is beneficial for those who have additional learning needs, such as dyslexia, or those who have been unable to attend a session. The time spent with lecturers is more focussed on applying the learning, rather than simply delivering information. The use of games and interactive learning helps to consolidate knowledge and provide mechanisms for evaluating understanding and application.

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

The lectures would normally have been delivered within the lecture setting. Some lectures were available after the session using the e-learning system. We had already used online quizzes, following lectures, for students to test their own knowledge and allow academic staff to determine whether there were any specific areas of concern.

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

The way of teaching has changed dramatically and is still being adapted. New ideas for interactive sessions are being trialled and reviewed. Clinical practice is always evolving and students are prepared for their role in the changing environment, by having the skills they develop during this type of learning.

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

Guest lecturers have suggested that students are able to answer questions in more depth than previous cohorts.

The process is on-going, so assessment of exam marks is more difficult, however there does seem to be an increased ability to respond to questions which focus on clinical practice examples. Students appear to be more confident in answering questions from academic staff and perform well in vivas.

Student feedback suggests that they highly value the on-line lectures as a way of learning and a revision tool. They like the quizzes and interactive sessions. External examiners and the validatory body have commended the innovative teaching, learning and assessment methods used within the programme.

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

The use of games within the ultrasound programme was disseminated at the Health has Got Talent event at City University London, where it won the gold award to teaching innovation.

The flipped classroom method has been disseminated at:
CASS Teaching and Learning Showcase: Innovations in E-Learning Conference, CASS Business School, City University London.

Harrison, G. and Harris, A (2014) We’ve flipped. Have you? Health’s Got Talent, City University London. 12th June 2014 (bronze award).

Harrison, G. (2014) The Flipped Classroom: New innovation or an old idea? UKRC (Radiologic Congress), Manchester. 9th June. (Invited Speaker in the technology enhanced learning steam).

Harrison, G. and Harris, A. (2014) The use of the ‘flipped classroom’ in a blended learning programme: Have we flipped? Learning at City Conference: Students as Partners in Learning?. London 4th June. (prize for best paper).

And in a publication: Harrison, G. and Harris, A. (2014) Postgraduate Medical Ultrasound Programme: Have we Flipped? Learning at City Journal, 4 (2): 25-38.

Please provide details of any plans you have to disseminate the innovation in the future.

We hope to present the work using games as a form of learning at the Learning at City Conference in 2016.