ERIC Number: EJ737694
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Increasing Student Engagement by Using Morrowind to Analyze Choices and Consequences
TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, v49 n5 p29-32 2005
During the 2004-2005 school year, Maya Kadakia conducted a pilot study of her master's project which focuses on how student engagement is affected by a curriculum that incorporates popular culture. She created a Language Arts unit which incorporates the video game Morrowhid. Maya teaches seventh grade Language Arts and Social Studies at a diverse middle school in Madison, Wisconsin. The student population is roughly 50% low income, 50% minority, 25% English language learners and 20% students with special educational needs. Why incorporate video games into the classroom? The project described in this article was designed to determine if incorporating elements of popular culture in the curriculum could improve student engagement. By incorporating video games, an important aspect of youth culture, into the curriculum, Maya hoped to determine if there was a difference in student attitude. This paper is based on an action research pilot study investigating the use of Morrowind, a commercial role playing game (RPG), to introduce choices and consequences in a Language Arts classroom. This study uses an action research methodology which aims to create change through understanding by participating in a cyclical process of action and reflection. Using Morrowind to bring up moral issues proved highly successful in raising the engagement level in Maya's classes. She observed a great number and variety of students volunteering, which cut across lines of race, class, and gender.
Descriptors: Grade 7, Educational Needs, Video Games, Popular Culture, Language Arts, Time on Task, Action Research, Student Attitudes, Low Income Groups, Minority Groups, Teaching Methods, Ethical Instruction, Social Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 7; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin