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Innovating pathology learning via Kahoot! game-based tool: a quantitative study of students` perceptions and academic performance

Fatma Alzahraa Abdelsalam Elkhamisy
Rita Maher Wassef


Introduction:: Pathology learning for medical undergraduate students is a challenging task. Kahoot! is a mobile game-based online digital formative assessment tool that can engage students in its learning. This study is the first to assess the effect of Kahoot! use on Pathology learning outside classroom using a comparative group with assessment done at the end of the course.
Methods:: The study was carried out on the first-year Pathology students at Helwan University, Faculty of Medicine, after ending a basic Pathology course. The study is a retrospective quasiexperimental quantitative study. Academic performance of students in Pathology was compared between Kahoot! and non-Kahoot! users (55 students each). In addition, an online survey was introduced to the 55 Kahoot! user students to investigate their perceptions on it. Survey and test score data were analyzed by appropriate tests using IBM-SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences). The level of significance was P < 0.05.
Results:: Kahoot! enhanced Pathology understanding (83.6%), retaining knowledge (87.3%), made learning fun and motivating (89.1%). Other mentioned advantages of Kahoot! were practicing for exam (40%), simple and easy to use (36.4%), competitive (18.2%), self confidence booster (10.9%), forming a comprehensive image of the lecture (9%), quick (9%), and imagining skills booster (5.5%). Mentioned disadvantages included no explanation for the answers to questions (20%). A quarter of the students stated that the time limit for the questions was short (27.3%). Kahoot! use was significantly associated with better Pathology academic performance (P = 0.001), and it was not related to the general academic performance of the students (P = 0.06). Most users (85.4%) recommended its continuous future use.
Conclusions:: The study offers an endorsement to the use of Kahoot! for gamifying formative assessment of Pathology and can provide a basis for the design of an online Kahoot! -based continuous formative assessment plans implemented outside-classroom in the Pathology curricula.