We are creating an interactive, simulated “Cancer Genetics Tower” for the self-paced learning of Clinical Cancer Genetics by medical students (go to: http://casemed.case.edu/cancergenetics). The environment uses gaming theory to engage the students into achieving specific learning objectives. The first few levels contain virtual laboratories where students achieve the basic underpinnings of Cancer Genetics. The next levels apply these principles to clinical practice. A virtual attending physician and four virtual patients, available for questioning through virtual video conferencing, enrich each floor. The pinnacle clinical simulation challenges the learner to integrate all information and demonstrate mastery, thus “winning” the game. A pilot test of the program by 17 medical students yielded very favorable feedback; the students found the Tower a “great way to teach”, it held their attention, and it made learning fun. A majority of the students preferred the Tower over other resources to learn Cancer Genetics.
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