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ERIC Number: EJ1138582
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2155-6849
Serious Game Leverages Productive Negativity to Facilitate Conceptual Change in Undergraduate Molecular Biology: A Mixed-Methods Randomized Controlled Trial
Gauthier, Andrea; Jenkinson, Jodie
International Journal of Game-Based Learning, v7 n2 p20-34 2017
We designed a serious game, MolWorlds, to facilitate conceptual change about molecular emergence by using game mechanics (resource management, immersed 3rd person character, sequential level progression, and 3-star scoring system) to encourage cycles of productive negativity. We tested the value-added effect of game design by comparing and correlating pre- and post-test misconceptions, interaction statistics, and engagement in the game with an interactive simulation that used the same graphics and simulation system but lacked gaming elements. We tested first-, second-, and third-year biology students' misconceptions at the beginning and end of the semester (n = 526), a subset of whom played either the game (n = 20) or control (n = 20) for 30 minutes prior to the post-test. A 3x3 mixed model ANOVA revealed that, while educational level (first-, second-, or third-year biology) did not influence misconceptions from pre-test to post-test, the intervention type (no intervention, simulation, or game) did (p <0.001). Pairwise comparisons showed that participants exposed to the interactive simulation (p = 0.007), as well as those exposed to the game (p<0.001), lost significantly more misconceptions in comparison to those who did not receive any intervention, while adjusting for educational level. A trending difference was found between the simulation group and the gaming group (p = 0.084), with the gaming group resolving more misconceptions. Quantitative analysis of click-stream data revealed the greater exploratory freedom of the control simulation, with greater accessibility to individuals who do not play games on a regular basis. However, qualitative analysis of gameplay data showed that MolWorlds-players experienced significantly more instances of productive negativity than control-users (p<0.001) and that a trending relationship exists between the quality of productively negative events and lower post-test misconceptions (p = 0.066).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A