LET’S BE A RESEARCHER IN ECOLOGY! AN INTERNATIONAL E-LEARNING GAME
1 University of Salento (ITALY)
2 University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (ITALY)
3 University of the West of Scotland (UNITED KINGDOM)
4 Universidade de Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
5 Bildungswerk der Sächsischen Wirtschaft (GERMANY)
6 Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (GERMANY)
7 European Ecological Federation (UNITED KINGDOM)
8 Kariyer Danismanligi ve Insan Kaynaklarini Gelistirme Dernegi (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Educators who plan science lessons often underestimate the scientific method concept as a central part of the training activities. In fact, sharing with student contents related to the science's epistemology and its social context facilitate the science learning process and the ability to apply theoretical aspects of science to everyday life. As social constructivism suggests, the learner must be encouraged to make sense of newly developing knowledge within an already established personal knowledge framework or through cognitive connections to the own personal experiences. In this regard, a game that shows how the scientific method is useful for exploring and interpreting the environment may be an effective educational tool for science teachers.
This contribute describes ‘Research Game – The European scientific research game’, an European project (Lifelong Learning Programme-Comenius, N°. 527547-LLP-1-2012-1-IT-COMENIUS-CMP), where a consortium of six partners has been set, joining together organizations from all Europe (Italy, Germany, Portugal, Turkey, United Kingdom). Research Game Project motivates secondary school students by making experience of the excitement of scientific research. Particularly, the game exposes them to the process of scientific methodology through an online education game on ecological subjects.
The game requires students to collaborate internationally across Europe, to build hypotheses, research, test the validity of their hypothesis and finalize a theory based on their findings. On the project platform (www.researchgame.eu/platform) teachers and students register, create a team, interact on a forum space, play and learn science in a new innovative way. Here, the students can share their research findings with other groups of all Europe. In the last phase of the experience, schools teams from all Europe compete online playing a serious game, produced by Research Game, and showing to be able to apply the scientific method. The project has been designed to deliver resources that will enable a project sustainability, such as website hosting for 3 years after the end of funding, maintenance of the platform, repository of game documents, materials on methodology, case studies, use case scenarios, peer review papers.
Keywords: Serious game, ecology, scientific method, education, e-learning.