Game-Based Learning: The Effects of Word Games and Elaboration on Learning Science Concepts

Please join us for the ACSHF Forum on Monday, September 30th from 2-3p.m. in Meese 109. Pomm Khaewratana will be presenting Game-Based Learning: The Effects of Work Games and Elaboration on Learning Science Concepts.

Word games have been used for many years in a variety of science settings to learn technical terms and improve scientific thinking. However, there are few controlled experiments with word games, and even fewer that evaluate the effectiveness in terms of performance. Therefore, we do not have evidence-based best practices for implementing word games despite the fact that they are prominently used. In this paper, we start to bridge this gap and describe an experiment to evaluate the effect of word games and word games + elaboration on learning. Using a within-subject design, 29 students participated in a controlled randomized experiment. Results indicate that a word game + elaboration study condition was statistically more effective for learning than a word game-alone condition (effect size 0.67) or a control condition (effect size 1.76). In addition, the word game condition was also more effective than the control condition (effect size of 1.01). These learning effects were measured more than one day after the study task. Ninety percent of students reported enjoying the word game more than their typical study method, and more than 50% thought it was more effective. Implications for these results are broad, suggesting that a 20-minute word game if implemented correctly can have a large effect on scientific learning. 

Monday, September 30, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Harold Meese Center, 109
1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931

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Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors

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Kevin Trewartha

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