Heliocentric Solutions (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 3852-3854
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
We aim to address the lack of fluency afflicting the current debate the energy transition and climate change. Our teaching project called proMETERuse introduces pupils to scientists who guide them through the greatest challenge facing their generation and engages them in practical to show them that they can take part in overcoming it. However, given the volume of information required to build a comprehensive picture of developments in the energy and the climate sector, and the practice needed to juggle units, statistics and technical terms, we rely on an intelligent game to help students do most of the learning themselves. The game takes the form of an internet quiz in which facts and figures underpinning the energy and climate crisis are broken down into bite-sized trivia questions. We motivate students to play by offering the chance to compete with classmates in internal rankings and with peers in the other partner schools of our project for the prestige of their school. To encourage collaboration, dissemination and enjoyment, students taking the test can team up with friends and answer the quiz questions simultaneously. Each player is personified on-screen with a friendly avatar endowed with rudimentary capabilities for expression and interaction. We are investigating whether personifying the experience (and hence making it more entertaining) can boost its appeal among students. Exposing the performance of students to friends also adds to a mild form of peer pressure in the game and incites players to remember their mistakes. As schools compete against each other, they conquer and lose symbolic parcels of land in a graphical representation of the ranking table. This method aims to boost enthusiasm for the game and for victory through team spirit and a pride akin to the loyalty of sport fans towards their club. Comparing results from students on a standardised test on energy and climate questions before and after the introduction of the serious game will quantify the success of the strategies investigated in the game. Successful avenues could be explored further in games that support conventional school classes or even in areas of fact-based learning beyond the national syllabus, such as introducing students to how democratic, legal or financial institutions function.
Serious game, STEM, sustainability, gamification, energy, climate.