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ERIC Number: ED525803
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 172
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-7232-4
Investigating the Impact on Student Learning and Outdoor Science Interest through Modular Serious Educational Games: A Design-Based Research Study
Folta, Elizabeth Eason
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
In an effort to get children back outdoors and exploring the natural environment, a Modular Serious Educational Game (mSEG), Red Wolf Caper, was created as part of a design-based research study. Red Wolf Caper uses a combination of an augmented reality (AR) game and a serious educational game (SEG) to capture the students' interest in the natural world around them. The game is set around a mystery in which red wolves in eastern North Carolina are being poisoned. The students are asked to portray the role of a wildlife biologist, botanist, or entomologist, whose job it is to determine who is poisoning the red wolves. MSEG are a new form of SEG that is divided into components or modules. Each module has to be completed before the player can move on to the next module. A module can take on any format, but must encompass the storyline of the game and end in an assessment. The study focused on three research questions. How would students improve the Red Wolf Caper mSEG? Do mSEG affect students' understanding in environmental education concepts, specifically, collecting, evaluating, and developing an explanation for data they collected in the game and knowledge of environmental systems and biological and social implications for the reintroduction of a species? Which role within the mSEG do the students choose and what is their reasoning behind choosing that particular role? The game was tested by 81 middle school students during six sessions in June 2010. The study participants played the game and participated in design sessions. In addition, they were given a 5-question pretest/posttest, role selection survey, and Serious Educational Game Rubric (SEGR). They were asked to develop a hypothesis and provide evidence to support their hypothesis. Finally, they were asked to write a letter to a local in judge explaining the importance of the red wolf reintroduction project. Twenty-three students were selected to participate in interviews to determine how to improve the game and why they chose the role they did. The mean student score for the SEGR was 18.13 out of 28. Five categories in particular stood out as needing improvement: "rules," "increasing complexity," "manipulation," "identity," and "tutorial/ practice level." Sixty-nine completed pretests/posttests final scores were analyzed using a paired t-test (p = 0.000046). The letters to the judge showed that study participants understood scientific concepts and were able to apply them to real world settings that were only portrayed briefly in the game, such as the food chain. Study participants chose to play one of three roles: a wildlife biologist (n = 64), an entomologist (n = 10), and a botanist (n = 6). Their reason behind choosing a role included interest in learning more about the topic or the profession, a previous positive experience in that field, thought the role sounded fun or exciting, the role was better than the alternatives, or misunderstood the role. The experience overall was positive for the participants. They felt they learned how to identify tracks, scat, trees, and invertebrates depending on the role they played. The AR field tests were one of their favorite parts about the game. Only one student expressed that they did not like the game, while the others not only enjoyed playing the game, but felt that is was a good educational tool. This study explores only one possibility of how mSEGs can be used in education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A