A scoping review of randomised controlled trials to assess the value of gamification in the higher education of health science students

Elio Arruzza, Minh Chau

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: In today's ever-changing technological landscape, novel pedagogical methods are very attractive for medical radiation educators trying to enhance their students' educational experience. This scoping review aimed to assess the evidence regarding the value of gamification as part of health science undergraduate education, in comparison to conventional teaching curriculum.

METHODS: A comprehensive systematic literature search was conducted in MEDLINE, EMC are and Cochrane databases. Articles were eligible if they were randomised controlled trials comparing the use of gamification for undergraduate health profession students, with conventional teaching methods. Outcomes included knowledge (ie., information acquisition), skills (ie., knowledge application) and perceived benefit. Screening, data extraction and critical appraisal was conducted by two reviewers independently.

RESULTS: Eleven RCT studies were included (n = 997). Three of eight reporting studies discovered significant findings for knowledge acquisition scores favouring the intervention group. Varying results were demonstrated in the skills domain across six studies. Perceived benefits including student motivation and satisfaction levels demonstrated positive findings in all but one of six reporting studies.

DISCUSSION: Educators should supplement methods with gamified learning rather than replace them, consider group-based gamification, and employ methods at irregular intervals.

CONCLUSION: The findings of this review suggest that gamification may be advantageous for health science undergraduates. Gamification positively impacts student satisfaction and motivation, though its capacity to enhance students' knowledge acquisition and application necessitates further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-146
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


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