Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mary Ramirez


Rapid technological advances have created major societal changes, transformed business sectors, and revolutionized enterprises. In contrast, the curricular structure of medical education has remained unchanged for the last 100 years, and, for the most part, medical education has been reluctant to embrace the use of technology. The prevalent pedagogical model is reliant on rote memorization. The conceptual framework that informed this study was the user-centered framework for meaningful gamification. This framework's components are organismic integration theory, situational relevance, situated motivational affordance, and the universal design for learning. This quantitative study focused on key research questions related to identifying whether significant increases occurred over time in cooperative learning, cognitive level, and personal skills 'the dependent variables' when using a gamified learning method-the independent variable. The validated Student Engagement Survey was used to collect data from second-year medical students in a Southern California medical school, with N = 64. A repeated measures MANOVA with follow-up univariate ANOVAs was used, and statistical results indicated that there were significant differences over time in cooperative learning, cognitive level, and personal skills when using gamified learning methods. This research was conducted over a period of 3 months, divided into 3 Time Periods (TP). For all three variables, significant increases were noticed between TP 1 and TP 2, followed by significant decreases between TP 2 and TP 3. These findings pointed to the fact that more studies are needed to better understand whether certain types of gamification implementations are detrimental to student engagement in medical education, or whether more sound design principles ought to be explored to produce effective gamified learning components that could positively impact student engagement in medical education.