Students are often overwhelmed by the volume of new vocabulary they need to master in cell biology. Cognitive science studies have shown that increased learning gains are achieved when students are repeatedly tested and forced to retrieve memorized information.

This online trivia game is designed to repeatedly test and practice the newly acquired terminology and knowledge in the Introduction to Cell Biology classes. Language is the scaffold around which higher cognitive functions can arise; increased practice in using cell biology language and basic knowledge may reduce the vocabulary barrier and in turn allow a deeper understanding of biological concepts, increase science literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

In order to encourage practice and play, the game incorporates a point system that will allow the students to determine his or her progress through the game and acquisition of knowledge. This point system is directly linked to participation marks for the student’s final course mark. A sufficient amount of points needs to be reached in order to get full participation marks.

This project is a collaboration between Dr Elaine Beaulieu and Dr Caroline Petit-Turcotte, funded by eCampusOntario and the Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) at the University of Ottawa.