THE EFFECTS OF GAME-BASED LEARNING APPROACH ON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDINGS AND STRATEGIC PROBLEM SOLVING ABILITY IN LEARNING NANOTECHNOLOGY
Naresuan University (THAILAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Nanotechnology or nanotechnologies are technologies that concern with the fabrication and use of devices so small that the convenient unit of measurement is the nanometer (a billionth of a meter) while nanoscience is science that deals with studies of behaviors and properties of materials or devices/system having size at nanometer scale. Teaching and Learning nanotechnology at high school level is not simply bringing such concepts to students but it should be in such ways that students should be provided with authentic experiences that can lead them to deeper understandings both conceptual and procedural knowledge. A computer game and its association is the latest technology that has received attention from educators. It has been argued that for a particular view of games—and of learning—as activities that are most powerful when they are personally meaningful, experiential, social, and epistemological all at the same time. Strategic problem solving ability is referred to ability to determine optimum or the best way to accomplish the intended goal or to solve the problems under any problematic and uncertain circumstance. In problem solving process, students use knowledge, skills, and prior experiences to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate situation to find out the best way to accomplish the intended goal or to solve the problem effectively. In learning fundamental nanotechnology, studying about applications of nanomaterial’s properties is considered to be suitable problematic situation for designing authentic learning experience powered by computer game technologies for enhancing strategic problem ability. The purpose of the research study was to examine the effects of game-based learning environment on high school students’ conceptual understandings and strategic problem solving ability in learning fundamental nanotechnology. The computer game “Nano X Project” was developed using the contents of fundamental nanoscience and nanotechnology, fundamental nanomaterials and nanosafety. The computer game was developed by Adobe Flash program and used as central instructional media of the 12 hour learning activities which lasted in three weeks, four hours a week. The learning activities were conducted with 112 high school students of 10th grade at the Demonstration School of Naresuan University in Phitsanulok, Thailand. To examine the effects of the game-based science learning activities, the strategic problem solving ability test with reliability of 0.60 was administered to all the participating students along with the conceptual understanding test with reliability of 0.76 before and after the learning activities. As a result, it was found that the students had improvement in strategic problem solving ability and also conceptual understanding confirmed by statistically significant change at 0.05 level. In summary, the results indicate that this computer game based science learning in learning fundamental nanoscience and nanotechnology have positive effects on the high school students’ conceptual understandings and strategic problem solving ability.
Keywords: Conceptual understandings, Strategic problem solving ability, Game-based learning approach, nanotechnology.