Monday, September 24, 2012

Mobile Serious Games

Sanchez, J. & Olivares, R. (2011). Problem solving and collaboration using mobile serious games. Computers & Education, 57, 1943-1952.

Mobile games designed for academics and learning are called mobile serious games (MSGs). Mobile learning activities are beneficial because they allow students to do learning activities outside of school, either on a school activity like a field trip, or on the bus, at home, etc. The researchers designed the study to determine the impact of MSGs on problem solving, collaboration skills, and understanding of biological science concepts. They utilized a quasi-experimental design with ten 8th grade classes from five different schools in Chile. Half of the students played the MSGs as part of their science curriculum, and half did not. The games were collaborative and were integrated with life science instruction, so that students understood the concepts that were being reinforced via the games. After the three-month study, students in the experimental group playing the MSGs showed slightly higher collaboration and communication skills, and had a slightly better opinion about science class, than those in the control group. The authors recommend a longer-term implementation of similar learning activities to see if more exposure would produce more conclusive results. Developing and implementing mobile serious games for secondary education is challenging but also necessary to keep pace with modern technology.

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