1 University of Applied Sciences, FH JOANNEUM Graz (AUSTRIA)
2 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 7636-7641
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Science teaching at school must be sensitive to children’s ‘common sense’ understanding of scientific phenomena in order to be effective. This has been conclusively shown in a broad body of research, which underlines the myriad ways in which children see and interpret the world around them. Especially physics as a subject with a high degree of abstraction and not too close relations to the world of work and civil society creates a huge challenge in school education, and teachers notably in secondary level lack suitable tools and instruments to teach physical subjects in a more vivid, work oriented and motivating way. For this reason, the development of a teaching and learning package to support the teaching of natural sciences and related interdisciplinary and transversal key competences seems to be of high importance. The specially developed learning game FlyHigh! is part of the e-learning environment for learning natural sciences in relation to the field of aviation. The learning game aims to improve the quality of teaching and learning inside and outside the classroom by using interactive methods that allow instant experiences of the learning contents close to reality and working life.

The motivation for learning is provided by this mobile device game that will support the learning process in an entertaining and playful way by explaining physics through the excellent game play which demonstrates the effects on the aerodynamics and responsiveness of the airplane. Learners become active participants in their own learning process, which constitutes a constructivist approach to learning where learners are offered content dependent possibilities to make choices along pathways which are not predefined but constructed based on the learner's decision in the game play. While playing learning games the users encounter rather complex environments with a deterministic problem representation. Users have to solve certain problems and can proceed further only after having solved them. Hence, learning games use intrinsic motivation.

Thus, the learning game Fly High! proved to be a valuable component in the entire Fly High teaching curriculum. It is applied after a first theoratical session on flight physics, just before the pupils' concentration starts to fade. With this new attraction the pupils' attention can be easily maintained or even raised, the newly gained theoretical knowledge can be experienced intuitively and consolidated with ease. Meanwhile more than 1.000 European pupils participated in modules of the Fly High project. According to their feedback, the combination of flight physics, fun and the availability of modern hardware makes Fly High! a teaching aid which is used by young people without any external pressure, just on a voluntary basis. It is highly motivational and triggering their interest in flight physics in a playful way.
e-learning, learning game, game-based learning, aviation.