ERIC Number: EJ1037102
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
Experience and Explanation: Using Videogames to Prepare Students for Formal Instruction in Statistics
Arena, Dylan A.; Schwartz, Daniel L.
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v23 n4 p538-548 Aug 2014
Well-designed digital games can deliver powerful experiences that are difficult to provide through traditional instruction, while traditional instruction can deliver formal explanations that are not a natural fit for gameplay. Combined, they can accomplish more than either can alone. An experiment tested this claim using the topic of statistics, where people's everyday experiences often conflict with normative statistical theories and a videogame might provide an alternate set of experiences for students to draw upon. The research used a game called "Stats Invaders!," a variant of the classic videogame "Space Invaders." In "Stats Invaders!," the locations of descending alien invaders follow probability distributions, and players need to infer the shape of the distributions to play well. The experiment tested whether the game developed participants' intuitions about the structure of random events and thereby prepared them for future learning from a subsequent written passage on probability distributions. Community-college students who played the game and then read the passage learned more than participants who only read the passage.
Descriptors: Statistics, Video Games, Technology Uses in Education, Teaching Methods, Probability, Scientific Concepts, Instructional Effectiveness, Intuition, Two Year College Students, Comparative Analysis, Conventional Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A