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Escape the Room: Web Games as a Teaching Method Brian Czymbor and Dennis Hillebrand. Results 67.74% of the students have never gotten in contact with computer games as a teaching method Those who did, mostly came in contact with computer games in physics, geography and computer science classes.
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Computer games are often overlooked as a teaching method
A study that investigated why teachers are not using games more often found limiting factors, among them lack of supporting material and limited budgets (cf. Baek 2008)
However, literature proposing teaching methods including computergamesdoesexist (e.g. “Digital play: computer games and language aims” by Mawer and Stanley)
Little is known about the effectiveness of these methods in the classroom
Research question: How are free web based games received by students, especially in terms of motivation and how great is the learning effect?
Students receive the method positively and are highly motivated to learn English by playing computer games even in their free time
Computer games support the learning effect without the students being aware of it
The research was conducted in a 7th grade class with 31 students
Materials: 1 laptop / computer with internet access and 1 projector
A modified version of the method “I’m a student” from Digital Play was used in class with an Escape the room game1(cf. Mawer et al. 2011: 79). Steps:
Afterwards, the students had to fill out a questionnaire with 6 questions on motivation and learning effect Total research time: 20 minutes
1Escape the room game: The goal is to escape from a locked room. In order to do so, one clicks on various items in the room to get hints or use them to unlock the door (See picture in the top right).
High willingness to learn English with computer games, even at home
The great majority of the students raised their hand at least one time during the method
Those who did not specify a number still raised their hands during the method
One student did not raise his/her hand, the reason being he/she did not want to say anything
Conclusions / Discussion
Based on the results of the questionnaire,
hypothesis 1 seems to be valid
hypothesis 2 seems to be valid
The limiting factors claimed by Baek (see introduction) were not a great issue when applying the method, since
Comments by students:
It is hard to please everyone, but overall the students find it to be a fun method that contributes to the diversity in the classroom
Baek, Y.K. (2008), ‘’What hinders teachers in using computer and video games in the classroom? Exploring factors inhibiting the uptake of computer and video games’’, CyberPsychology & Behavior 11, 665–671.
Gehring, Wolfgang (2010),Englische Fachdidaktik: Theorien, Praxis, Forschendes Lernen. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag.
Mawer, Kyle and Graham Stanley (2011), Digital play: computer games and language aims. Peaslake, Surrey: Delta Publishing.
Overall, the method is marked positively
Most students learned new vocabulary
The students did not know that they were going to be asked about vocabulary learned during the method