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Thursday, August 2 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Research Paper Panel: Math and Climate Games and Game Intervention

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Game-Based Learning with Direct Representation of Mathematics
Sara Atienza, Bryan Matlen, Keith Devlin, Randy Weiner

Symbolic representations in mathematics (e.g., equations) are powerful and essential for more advanced mathematical thinking, but cause major problems for K-8 learners. To engage mathematical reasoning without symbolic representations, BrainQuake has created diagrammatic mathematics puzzle games that provide an alternative, more learner-friendly interface to mathematical thinking and multi-step problem solving. In this working paper, we first outline the design underlying BrainQuake’s puzzle games, and provide preliminary evidence that they can be used effectively in classroom settings. The latter portion of this paper outlines a randomized control study – currently in progress -- examining how BrainQuake’s suite of puzzle games impact students’ mathematics achievement and attitudes. The results of the randomized trial will be presented at the conference.

Exploring how student designers model climate system complexity in computer games
Gillian Puttick, Giovanni Troiano, Eli Tucker-Raymond

We present results from a design-based research project in which 8th grade teachers and students explored climate change by designing computer games using Scratch. We analyzed 174 games based on 1) Systems Complexity and 2) Triadic Game Design (TGD). The analysis of system complexity shows that two-thirds of the students designed systems using one-directional linear connections, while one-third designed complex systems based on multiple connections, feedbacks, or loops. TGD analysis shows that the most frequent topics were CO2 emissions and global warming, with most games being based on quiz, shooter, pong or action gameplay. Furthermore, designers tried to drive meaning to the player either by raising awareness of climate change directly or indirectly, or by having players make responsible choices in-game (e.g., walking not driving). Meaning and Play were important design considerations for students; this result has implications for how a game design task might be framed in future.

Same game, different impact: Comparing the success of a game-based learning intervention across four schools
Thorkild Hanghøj, Andreas Lieberoth

A game based learning approach may work wonderfully in one school, and then very differently in another, shortly after. This paper reports how one intervention lead to different outcomes depending on school setting. We combine statistical and qualitative lenses to analyze differential impact based on the social and cultural characteristics of four schools.

The intervention for 3-5th graders included a mix of commercial-off-the-shelf gameplay, classroom exercises based on the game, and gamification aimed at classroom conduct. General effects were observed for intrinsic and external motivation using the Children’s Locus of Causality scales (c-PLOC), plus teacher-assessed learning and wellbeing. Yet very different practical outcomes were observed in the four different schools taking part in the project.

We use an explanatory mixed methods analysis to move beyond average effects, and identify the qualitative characteristics of one classroom where the intervention took a definite hold.

avatar for Sara Atienza

Sara Atienza

Research Associate, WestEd

Thorkild Hanghøj

Associate Professor, Aalborg University
avatar for Gillian  Puttick

Gillian Puttick

Senior Scientist, TERC
Research on youth-created games to learn science, curriculum design about climate change for middle and/or high school; high school students using Smart Cities data to learn about their communities

Eli Tucker-Raymond

Educationist, TERC

Thursday August 2, 2018 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Media Lab - Lecture Hall, 6th Floor, Building E14 75 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

Attendees (22)