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How effective is the computer game model for teaching chemistry?

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How effective is the computer game model for teaching chemistry?

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  1. How effective is the computer game model for teaching chemistry? Kermin Joel Martínez-Hernández Gabriela C. Weaver Department of Chemistry Chemical Education Division Purdue University

  2. Overview: • Student feedback about game playing. • What makes the students adept at playing with them. • Develop computer games for teachingchemistry concepts.

  3. Prior Findings AboutGames in Education: • “PC games develop the curiosity to learn concepts" [Thomas and Macredie, in Amory, et al. (1999)]. • “PC games stimulated and motivated the students and provide a way to present microworlds to learners” [Rieber, (1996)]. • “PC games can be a positive feature of a healthy adolescence” [Durkin, et al. (2002)]

  4. Goals: • Adapt the engaging and addictiveelements of commercial games to educational games that help students learn chemistry. • Develop PC games that can be used to teach chemistry. • Understand the cognitive processes that students undergo when they play computer games.

  5. Research Questions for Overall Project: • What do students enjoy when they use computer games, and what factors motivate them to play? • How can we use games to teach chemistry? • Can students gain conceptual understanding from using a computer game environment?

  6. Research Design: Phase I (Summer and Fall 2003): • Comparative study of 7 games. • Data Collection included: • Demographic Surveys • Survey about game play • Observations during game play • Interviews after each game played • Analyze data to examine the characteristics of games that are engaging and help students learn.

  7. Research Design, cont.: Phase II (This Summer): • Students will play Chemicus in addition to attending their general chemistry class where the same concepts are taught. • Game players will be compared to a control group who carry out chemistry study activities, but do not play the game. • Pre and post content tests are used to asses changes in student understanding using chemistry-related games. • Think-aloud methods are used to monitor student activities during game play.

  8. Research Design, cont.: Phase III (Fall 2004): • Use the findings from Phase I and II to develop new computer games with the goal of teaching chemistry topics. Phase IV: • Test the game with students to get their feedback about the game developed in Phase III. • Conduct a similar study as Phase II but with the developed game. • Verify student understanding and clarifications of misconceptions about chemistry topics inside the game.

  9. Phase I Details and Discussion

  10. Discussion Volunteers and students sample: • Students from different disciplines: • mathematics • engineering (freshman, civil, mechanical, and aerospace) • science (health sciences, computer sciences) • liberal arts Description of sessions: • Students play 4 (1 c.h.)or7 (2 c.h.) games for a total of 6 hours per game. • Complete a survey after1st hour of game playing andat the end of 6 hours. • Complete an interview with standardized open-ended questions (takes about 15 min.)

  11. Games Evaluated 1st Person Shooter Strategy Role Playing Game (RPG) Chemicus Adventure (puzzle) Simulation (Flight/Action)

  12. Phase I: Research Questions • What do students like and enjoy about PC Games? • What makes PC games addictive? • What are the characteristics of the game that are engaging and enjoyable for students?

  13. Interpretation of Results

  14. Demographic Survey

  15. Race Distribution

  16. Gender Comparison: 5=Completely Agree  1=Strongly Disagree Like strategy games Like war games Enjoy playing PC games Like educational games Play game as hobby

  17. Interpretation Gender: • Males use computers more hours per week than females: 8.7 vs. 7.7 hours/week (p=.052). • Males play computer games more often: 5.9 vs. 2.7 times/week (p=.002).

  18. Interpretation,cont. Likert Scale Questions: • 5=Strongly agree and 1=Completely disagree (p<.05) • Males enjoy playing PC games more: 4.8 vs. 4.2. • Males play PC games as a hobby: 4.7 vs. 2.5. • Females like educational games more: 3.3 vs. 2.5. • Males like war games more: 4.13 vs. 2.94 • Both prefer action/adventure games most. (Males 4.3 vs. Females 4.1).

  19. Interpretation, cont. Ethnicity: • Hispanic use computers for more hours per week (9.0 vs. 8.1 hours/week; p<.01) • Not Hispanic play more computer games (7.5 vs. 7.0 times/week; p<.05)

  20. “What makes a good PC game?” (WMGPC Survey)Likert Scale (5=Strongly Agree 1=Completely Disagree)

  21. WMGPC Table 1. Student high and low responses (RED=Females high, BLUE=Males High)

  22. Game Playing Survey (GPS)Likert Scale (5=Strongly Agree 1=Completely Disagree)

  23. GPS

  24. Interpretation of Data: • “What makes a good PC game?” Survey (WMGPC) • Overall Females prefer Age of Empires(Strategy). • Males prefer Neverwinter Nights(Role Playing Game) and Battlefield 1942 (1st Person Shooter). • Both dislike Flight Simulator (Simulation) and Chemicus (Action/Adventure).

  25. Interpretation of Data,cont.: • Game Playing Survey (GPS): • Both prefer the sounds and graphics of Neverwinter Nights(RPG)(4.56 and 4.25) • Both prefer Age of Empires II(strategy) as type of game (4.44) (∆- Females). Males also like Neverwinter Nights(RPG)(4.44) • Females prefer the story line of Age of Empires(strategy), while Males like Neverwinter Nights(RPG). • Both agree that you need reflexes for Battlefield(1st person shooters) (Males 5.00 vs. Females 4.67).

  26. Interpretation of Data,cont.: • Both think that you need problem solving skills for Chemicus(action/adventure-puzzle) (Males 4.67 vs. Females 4.47) • Both agree that the most challenging game was Chemicus(action/adventure-puzzle) (Males 4.40 and Females 4.35) • Females think that the most enjoyable game was Age of Empires II(strategy) and Males think that was Neverwinter Nights(RPG). However, Males also classify Battlefield as most enjoyable. • Both agree that Battlefield provides the greatest opportunity to improve with practice.

  27. MANOVA (Multiple Analysis of Variances) Comparison of Game vs. Game per Question

  28. WMGPC

  29. GPS

  30. Conclusions • Sounds and graphics, type of game, visualizations, and improvement with practice were important aspects for the students in the games. • Top 3 preferred game genres: • RPG: Neverwinter Nights • Strategy: Age of Empires II • 1st Person Shooter: Battlefield 1942 • Females preferred strategy games. • Males preferred role playing game.

  31. Conclusions,cont. • A mixture of these two genre (RPG and strategy) is a good possibility to apply in a successful game. • Game designs that have a strong structureand energy were preferred by students. • Students dislikeChemicus, the chemistry related game. • Chemicusdoes not use the best game playing elements.

  32. References Amory, A., Naicker, K., Vincent, J., & Adams, C. (1999). The use of computer games as an educational tool: identification of appropriate game types and game elements. British Journal of Educational Technology. 30 (4), 311-321. Durkin, K & Barber, B. (2002). No so doomed: computer game play and positive adolescent development. Applied Developmental Psychology.23, 374-392. Rieber, L. P. (1996). Seriously considering play: designing interactive learning environments based on the blending of microworlds, simulations, and games. Educational Technology, Research and Development. 44, 5-22.

  33. Questions

  34. Recommendations: • New games need to be developed to address chemistry concepts. • Further studies need to be conducted to determine why Chemicus does not provide a learning environment for the students. • More work needs to be performed to identify the cognitive process of students when learning occurs with using PC games.