University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

NARST 2016 Baltimore (Lauren)

Exploring how a collaborative board game can be used as a scientific model within the classroom.

Abstract: The current reform underway in K-12 science and engineering education, based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education, identifies three dimensions that are integral to science education, including scientific practices. One core scientific practice identified in the Framework and the NGSS is the practice of developing and using models. Models are the distilled, conceptualized systems that form the framework of simulations, which can be present in various types of interactive media, including games. In the science education research community, the affordances and possible gains in learning that well-designed educational games can offer learners has warranted further research.

This study, as part of a larger project examining the alignment of the game to three-dimensional learning, seeks to explore the possibilities of using games within the classroom as scientific models. We evaluated a collaborative board game modeled on current scientific literature on the genetic and environmental influences of honey bee behavior, and examined how students evaluated the game as a model within authentic education settings of high school classrooms. The findings from this study have implications for the continued research of game-based learning and participatory simulations in the classroom as possible avenues for meeting the science learning goals of the NGSS. We view this exploratory research study as a starting point for further investigations of using games and participatory simulations to incorporate three-dimensional learning envisioned in the NGSS into classrooms.

Lauren, H.,* & Hug, B. (2016, April). Interactive poster paper presentation at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Annual International Conference, Baltimore, MD.

*Conference presenter

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