LEARNING THROUGH GAMES: THE USE OF CROSSWORDS AS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL IN THE DEGREE OF PHYSIOTHERAPY
The educational strategies and tools that we use in our class can help students to actively participate in the teaching-learning process. There exists a broad range of activities used in and out the classroom, which promotes the active learning process. Undoubtedly, games have been utilized as different ways to study by students with diverse ages and different studies, and they are becoming the favorite learning method, because they make easier the educational process and make it more pleasurable too.
The crosswords started as a game used in leisure time, but is now considered as a teaching tool able to develop attention and concentration, learn specific vocabulary and promote intense searching strategies for solving problems. The aim of this work was to develop an educational tool, the crosswords, applied to the subject of Information Technologies (ICTs) in the degree of Physical Therapy.
The subject ICTs is a subject of basic formation which has a study load of 6 ECTS credits in the Degree of Physiotherapy at University of Valencia. Regarding to its structure, it is divided in 15 theoretical units, which are organized in 3 thematic blocks of 5 units every single, where each unit develops its own specific vocabulary. Every lecturer who instructed the subject created 8 definitions per unit, and once all of them shared their definitions and put them in common, they created the crosswords which collected the main contents of the 3 thematic blocks of the subject. JavaHotPotatoes6®, a freeware program that can be downloaded from: http://www.hotpot.uvic.ca, was used for building the crosswords.
There were created 15 crosswords, 5 crosswords per each specific thematic block of ICTs subject. The first thematic block has 5 crosswords which collect concepts such as “hardware”, “software”, “computering” and “University of Valencia”. The second block has 5 crosswords which gather concepts like “web 2.0”, “nets”, “office software” and “multimedia”. As a final point, the third thematic block has 5 crosswords that compile terms associated with the scientific field: “reference management software”, “data base”and “academic research” among others.
1. The use of crosswords represents a way to stimulate students towards being interested on reminding the most important information of the subject, favouring the knowledge of the specific vocabulary related.
2. This resources which were created as a complementary learning tool, support the acquirement of definitions, specific terms and keywords related to the subject ICTs in the Degree of Physiotherapy at University of Valencia.
3. We purpose that this ludic and educative tool could be useful for other subjects which had a specific vocabulary such as Anatomy, Physiology, and so on