Breaking Boundaries: Effectiveness of Gamification and Student Co-Creation for Anatomy Remote Learning

Abigail Wust, Taliah Swart, Grainne Oates, Nicolene Lottering

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review


An international reform on anatomy education has witnessed a transition from traditional cadaveric teaching, often reliant on rote-learning, toward visualization-based learning approaches. Multimodality of the learning preferences of Generation Z and the steep threshold learning curve in anatomy has led to the conception of gamification as a means of improving anatomy engagement, with reference to the Ebbinghaus (1880) forgetting curve. The aim of this study was to quantify student engagement using Quitch®, a gamified mobile learning platform and assess the impact of the app on student academic performance in an undergraduate Musculoskeletal Anatomy unit.


157 students enrolled in undergraduate Health and Science degrees at Swinburne University Australia were invited to download Quitch® during the COVID-19 remote learning period. In a student-faculty partnership project, a Quitch® unit with learning modules segregated for six regional anatomy topics, featuring 12 sections, was developed for Musculoskeletal Anatomy by 3rd year past students. Engagement was quantified using a 4-stage ordinal scale (1-4), based on access time from quiz release. The correlation between engagement, retention and academic performance for two virtual ‘spotter’ examinations was analysed.

Preliminary results indicate that ‘highly engaged’ students who completed the quizzes within 14 days, quantified with a mode ordinal score of 1, scored an average grade of 67.05±0.18% on virtual spotter examinations; 21.37% higher than those who did not engage with Quitch®. Students who did not attempt the majority of quizzes (63.92%), quantified with an ordinal score of 4, received an average of 45.68±0.22% in their examinations. Completion and accuracy data from the Quitch® leaderboard indicated that the top 20 users received an average grade of 77.50%, in comparison to 49.86% for students with low engagement. Student retention increased from 88.7% in 2019 to 96.7% in 2020; while 79% of students reported an ‘increased sense of belonging'in the unit.

Quitch® offers personalized learning capabilities, mobility with notification capacity, tracking of at-risk students and allows the delivery of high-quality case-based, radiology and virtual spotter questions. We showcase the accommodation of multimodal learning preferences of students through content co-creation by students-as-partners in a platform that uses competitive leaderboards and badges to improve student engagement. Our analytics validate the efficacy of spaced repetition to consolidate long-term retention for improved performance in practical examinations.

The results on the efficacy of Quitch for improved student engagement in Anatomy is presented, demonstrating how student-centred virtual learning can be cultivated in remote learning, with the benefits of students-as-partners and the social constructivism theory in content design discussed as an approach to improve engagement and performance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe FASEB Journal
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2021


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