Photo: students playing games
Photo: watching students at computers

How Effective Is The Computer Game Model For Teaching Chemistry?


The final goal of this project is the development of PC games for teaching chemistry concepts. In order to complete that, we start Phase I in summer 2003 in which we evaluated 7 commercial games. We collect students impressions about those games and what they like in it. Phase II summer 2004 consist in the evaluation of Chemicus (Chemistry related game) in a experimental group in which we want to evaluated how students perceived the chemistry concepts in the game. This will be compare with a control group in which the same concepts found in the game will be addressed by help sessions with a teacher assistant (TA) using demonstrations and work sheet activities. Phase III will be the development of the chemistry related game with the findings of Phase I and II. We want to develop a different method that students can have available to learn chemistry concepts in a different environment, enjoying and having fun in the process of learning. The PC games will bring the opportunity to students to obtain a better conceptual understanding of chemistry concepts. The PC games will include a mixture between two genres: role playing (RPG) and strategy game in which students need to explore, solve puzzles, and problem solving, but at the same time use their knowledge of chemistry to complete every task. Students will have the opportunity to have a similar laboratory setting in which they need to complete some experiments or reactions in order to keep going in the game. After the development of games, we will evaluate it with a sample of students. In phase IV, the students will have the opportunity to criticized and evaluate the game developed and make comments for game improvement.

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