San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1055.1 - 25.1055.11
Play-Testing a Video Game for Learning Engineering DynamicsFor decades, education scholars have been studying video games. They have found that the mostsuccessful games “teach” their players how to solve complex problems. Problems within a videogame typically start off rather easy and then progressively get more difficult as players’ skillsdevelop. Players are motivated to learn within video games because it is clear that knowledge ispowerful. The learning is situated, and occurs through a process of hypothesizing, probing, andreflecting upon the simulated world within the game. The goals are clear. Games provide playersimmediate and unambiguous feedback on how well they are progressing. Information becomesavailable to players at just the time they will be able to make sense of it and use it.Within the highly engaging techniques that game designers employ to get players to “learn” thegame, one finds echoes of modern learning pedagogies such as constructionism, inquiry-basedlearning, and anchored instruction. According to Koster, a game becomes fun when it requiresplayers to gain new skills at a deep level that get “chunked” and absorbed into the subconsciousmind, and then requires players to apply the skills/knowledge toward some goal. Furthermore, itremains fun if it requires players to gain new skills/knowledge, or transfer their skills to newproblems within the game. Ideally, this is the type of “fun” one would like engineering educationto be.Over the past two years, we have been developing a video game to help teach a sophomore-levelengineering dynamics. Over the past two semesters, we have been play-testing the game, in thecourse, exploring how different game features impact student learning and engagement. Weassessed conceptual learning with the Dynamics Concept Inventory and we measuredengagement with a technique called the Experience Sampling Method. For the latter, weembedded surveys in the game. In the conference paper, we shall present preliminary resultsfrom these studies.
Coller, B. D. (2012, June), Preliminary Results on Using a Video Game in Teaching Dynamics Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21812
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