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Innovative board game replicates the challenges of ‘real world’ medical teaching

2 November 2023

CARDiph game

Medical education academics at Cardiff University have successfully launched an innovative card game that accurately reproduces the challenges that exist in delivering high quality medical education training.

The CARDiph Game takes a unique approach to effective lesson and session planning in medical education. Using a series of playing cards and scenarios, CARDiph Game immerses players in a playful environment to enhance their teaching approach and develop session planning skills. The rules are very simple, and with over 35 million possible teaching session permutations the learning opportunities are endless.

Designed by award winning medical educators Dr Katie Webb and Julie Browne from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, and leading game designers Focus Games Ltd, CARDiph offers a creative and engaging platform for individuals to explore diverse teaching methods while embracing collaboration and innovation. In an era where traditional lecture-based teaching remains prevalent, CARDiph's creators hope this novel approach will disrupt the norm and open new possibilities for medical education teaching.

Julie Browne said: “We developed CARDiph because we couldn’t find any games on the market that helped healthcare educators improve their skills and confidence in session design. Although CARDiph is a serious game that focuses on skills in educational planning and teaching, it’s been enormous fun creating and refining it with diverse groups of wonderful healthcare educators.

“There’s a real sense of enthusiasm and plenty of laughter as people experience the roller-coaster of real-life teaching under pressure. We’re really pleased that it’s now available for anyone to play, and it looks so nice in its natty little box – easy to slip into a pocket or laptop bag.

“We hope that people who play it will feel a renewed sense of energy, creativity, confidence and fun in their educational work by collaborating together to devise brilliant teaching sessions.”

Dr Katie Webb added: "Through CARDiph, we aimed to create a platform that sparks a shift in teaching paradigms. Our goal was to break free from conventional teaching norms and foster a more engaging, collaborative, and innovative learning environment.

“During the game's development, we have consistently seen participants exhibit enthusiasm for interactive learning methods. Groups that have engaged with CARDiph have devised a multitude of active and engaging activities, such as simulations, discussions, role-plays, and even escape rooms.

“We are incredibly grateful for the funding received from ESRC/IAA CRoSS Funding and the invaluable commercial support from Focus Games. The strong collaboration between our organisations has been instrumental in making CARDiph Game a reality. By offering a gamified approach that emphasises creativity, we hope to empower educators across the world to think outside the confines of a lecture theatre."

Melvin Bell, CEO of Focus Games said: “We are excited to partner with Cardiff University to develop and market CARDiph. The impact of the game is undeniable as it encourages fresh perspectives, fosters teamwork, and instils confidence in healthcare educators. With its dynamic and adaptable nature, the game paves the way for a more innovative and engaging future for healthcare education”.

The CARDiph Game is supported by The Academy of Medical Educators, adding further to its credibility within the medical education sector. In a statement, The Academy of Medical Educators said: “We are delighted to support CARDiph - the Card Game for Interprofessional Healthcare. CARDiph is a valuable educational tool that encourages participants to learn and acquire new skills as a medical educator, to work collaboratively to improve lesson planning and delivery with a focus on the values that promote excellence in medical education.”

For more information about CARDiph and its transformative role in healthcare education, please visit

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an e-learning course, offering build-up of study credit via a three-stage, progressive course delivered online.