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An Initial Analysis of Student Engagement while Learning Food Analysis by Means of a Video Game

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Collection

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Study Abroad, International Exchange Programs, and Student Engagements

Tagged Division

International

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

25.167.1 - 25.167.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20927

Download Count

25

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Paper Authors

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Jose del Carmen Chin Vera

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Aurelio Lopez-Malo Universidad de las Américas, Puebla

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Aurelio Lopez-Malo is professor and Past Chair, Department of Chemical, Food, and Environmental Engineering, at Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, in Mexico. He teaches food science and engineering-related courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, natural antimicrobials, and active learning

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Enrique Palou Universidad de las Américas, Puebla

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Enrique Palou is Director, Center for Science, Engineering, and Technology Education in the Department of Chemical, Food, and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, in Mexico. He teaches engineering, food science, and education-related courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, creating effective learning environments, using tablet PCs, and associated technologies to enhance the development of 21st century expertise in engineering students, and building rigorous research capacity in science, engineering, and technology education.

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Abstract

An Initial Analysis of Student Engagement While Learning Food Analysis By Means of a Video GameAmong the skills required for various engineering specialties related with food handling,conservation, and processing, is necessary to understand and apply analytical techniques fordetermining the composition of foods. These skills involve not only theoretical knowledge of thetechniques implicated but also the ability to perform them in the laboratory as well as properanalysis, interpretation and evaluation of the results obtained. In many cases, within thecurriculum, laboratory sessions are included in order to cover these aspects. However, the hoursspent in a semester by students in a food analysis laboratory are usually not sufficient to ensurethat the intended skills are attained. On the other hand, the use of digital games has grownmarkedly in youngsters, along with unlimited access to computers and many other computing-capable devices. Current generations of students have extensive experience with computer andvideo games, which makes them different in their learning style preferences of previousgenerations [1-3]. Today’s students could learn more effectively if they had access to materialsthat take advantage of their abilities to interact with digital video game environments. A videogame can be effectively adapted to include educationally oriented challenges [4]. Our goal wasto design a video game for the food analysis course and laboratory, where students can interactwith a variety of real situations in order to help them better understand the official methods ofanalysis, recognize key tips to properly follow those methods and details that may interfere withthe desired outcome [5, 6]. The instructional goal is to make students (video game players) morecomfortable with their abilities to solve food analysis problems.Our progress so far has been to identify several common methods and techniques used in foodanalysis, choose the environment in which the video game will be developed and identifycommon student preconceptions, misconceptions, and several theoretical concepts that areusually not fully understood prior to put them into practice. We conducted a survey with FoodEngineering students of ABC University that attended the food analysis course and laboratoryduring fall 2009 and 2010 as well as students who had already taken the course and thelaboratory. We designed six problems related to three of the most common techniques in foodanalysis: determination of protein content, ascorbic acid, and sodium; which are related togravimetric and volumetric methodologies, and a standard curve concept. Results indicate thatstudents need more hours of practice to solve problems that are common in this type of foodanalysis course and laboratory. In addition, 90% of students expressed interest in playing (andthus practicing) the developed video game. The first draft of the video game includes situationsinvolved in protein content determination in foods, and takes into account many importantaspects from the preparation of solutions to the calculations involved and interpretation ofresults. Students were allowed to interact with the video game for 2 weeks (participating onaverage of 2 hours per week). Then we applied a post-test (second set of food analysis problems)and results exhibited that conceptual understanding was better in student-players than in no-player’s students; further, student ability to solve practical food analysis problems after playingwas significantly (p<0.05) improved.[1] Prensky, M. 2001. Digital Game-Based Learning. New York: McGraw-Hill.[2] Coller, B. 2007. Implementing a video game to teach principles of mechanical engineering. Proceedings of the 2007 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference.[3] Coller, B. 2009. Lessons learned from teaching dynamic systems and control with a video game. Proceedings of the 2009 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference. Austin, TX.[4] Nattam, N., Martinez-Hernandez, K., Danforth, D., Emberton, S., Pedela, R., Elkin, E., Maicher, K., Morales, C., Weaver, G. 2006. The design process of a chemistry video game. Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference. Chicago, IL.[5] Coller, B., Shernoff, D. 2010. An initial analysis of student engagement while learning engineering via video game. Proceedings of the 2010 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference. Louisville, KY.[6] Coller, B. 2011. First look at a video game for teaching dynamics. Proceedings of the 2011 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference. Vancouver, BC.

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