MULTIMEDIA AND DIGITAL GAME BASED APPROACHES TO TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHEMISTRY AND THEIR IMPACT ON LEARNING, PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES – CASE OF O-LEVEL MAURITIAN STUDENTS
The Ministry of Education and Human Resources of the Republic of Mauritius seeks to broaden the scope of science subjects at all levels of the education system in view to reverse the trend of students shying away from Science and Technology subjects. The situation in Mauritius is that there is a decline in the entries for sciences at upper secondary level.
In view of improving the teaching and learning of Sciences at Secondary level, the Government has provided each laboratory in the State Schools with Data Loggers, laptops and LCD projectors. The availability of such tools has to some extent encouraged science educators to reflect on their practices and to explore new ways to use technology so as to engage and motivate our students.
This paper presents a study carried out with O-Level students from a State Secondary School which is considered as a below average boy school as far as academic performance is concerned. The study is aimed at determining how the application of ‘digital based games’ versus ‘traditional multimedia’ approaches to the teaching and learning of Organic Chemistry will impact on student’s performance and motivation.
Two groups of students were identified namely (1) a Control group which were exposed to a traditional multimedia environment comprising of videos, flash animations and graphics mainly as a support to the teaching and learning and (2) an Experimental group which viewed the same multimedia elements as well as played an off the shelf digital game online named ‘OIL STRIKE’. The paper provides an overview of the multimedia environment and the digital game used in the context of the study. It further discusses the performance of the students which was assessed through traditional written tests whilst factors such as motivation, attitudes and perception towards the teaching approaches were analyzed through questionnaires, interviews and observations.