Gaming Knowledge

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Science  03 May 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6132, pp. 526
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6132.526-c

Video games have great potential to support educational objectives. However, problems with video games in an educational setting, including use of classroom time and limited connections to standardized tests, persist. Sadler et al. examined the extent to which high-school students, at general, honors, and advanced levels, learned biological concepts through the use of Mission Biotech (MB), a game designed to support education in genetics and molecular biology through classroom integration with a supporting curriculum aligned to state science standards. Ten teachers were trained to use MB in a classroom setting and were asked to complete a daily activity log and postimplementation survey. Supporting instructional activities, also aligned to state standards yet independent from the MB interface, were provided. Assessments were designed in coordination with each of MB's four levels and were embedded within the game environment. Results from pre- and post-tests show statistically significant gains in student performance, on both curriculum-aligned and standards-aligned exams. Students at all levels showed gains in knowledge, but the increase was highest among the general-level students. As the United States moves toward implementation of the inquiry-based Next Generation Science Standards, evidence of game-based curriculum supporting student learning increases the potential that video games may have in enhancing science education.

J. Res. Sci. Teach. 50, 479 (2013).

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