1 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (MEXICO)
2 Instituto Politécnico Nacional (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 214-219
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Learning biochemistry by following traditional lectures without students’ active participation may become especially difficult to ill motivated students. Trying to assimilate the knowledge of a complicated subject may seem an impossible task for young students which have not yet realized how wonderful is to explore the life pathways by means of studying biochemistry. This is a problem that teachers have to face in order to turn uninterested into active and successful students (1).

In order to increase the interest and creativity from students of the biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology curriculum at our university (FES Zaragoza, UNAM), we invited those who already had studied biochemistry during two semesters, to writte down questions on biochemistry topics. Students were informed that creativity and academic content would count for evaluation and then, we used the questions to play two popular games (Trivia and Marathon). Rules were decided acordingly and those who gave right answers to randomely selected questions were rewarded with improved university scores.

The students had a week to prepare their questions and got half a point increase in their grades based on a 1 – 10 scale. All participants had some playing time to get acquinted with the rules of the game and the winners, those who gave the highest number of answers got an extra full point increase in their grades.

An elevated percentage of students ellaborated questions and played the game. The questions ellaborated were very creative, designed in various forms, sizes and quality. Learning by playing became a very usefull and entertaining technique which allowed students to show not only what they had learned on biochemistry but also how organized and competitive they are.

In summary, learning by playing was a novel and invigorating experience to the students who ended the course more satisfied with their own knowledge and better motivated for continuous learning. Learning by playing produces a lively class and should be considered an important resource for biochemistry teaching.

Supported by DGAPA PAPIME PE 204706.

1. Lujan, H.L. & Di Carlo, S.E. Too much teaching, not enough learning. What is the solution? Adv. Physiol. Edu. 30: 17-22, 2006
game, teaching, biochemistry.