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Evaluation study published – free open access

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Our evaluation paper on the ‘Effect of gamified perceptual learning on visual detection and discrimination skills in equine gait assessment’ is out! You can download a free open access copy here:

https://bvajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/vetr.21

ABSTRACT

Background
Visual assessment of equine lameness is an everyday veterinary task suffering from poor diagnostic accuracy. The aim of this study was to quantify the impact of the perceptual learning game ‘LamenessTrainer’ on skill development.

Methods
Thirty‐six undergraduate veterinary students engaged in four game modules teaching the assessment of fore‐ and hindlimb lameness. Computer animations of horses in this game displayed 0% (sound) to 70% (moderately lame) vertical movement asymmetry of head and pelvis. Performance, learning effects, diagnostic accuracy, detection thresholds and survey responses were analysed.

Results
Following staircase learning, more than 80% of students reliably classified horses with ≥20% asymmetry for forelimb lameness, ≥40% asymmetry for simplified hindlimb lameness and ≥50% asymmetry for realistic hindlimb lameness. During random presentation, on average 82% of sound and 65% of lame horses were assessed correctly during forelimb lameness evaluation, dropping to 39% of sound and 56% of lame horses for hindlimb lameness.

Conclusion
In less than two hours, systematic perceptual learning through deliberate practice can develop visual assessment skills to an accuracy level comparable to expert assessors scoring the same animations. Skills should be developed further to improve misclassifications of sound and mildly lame horses, especially for hindlimb lameness evaluation.