About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6163-6169
Publication year: 2015
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

SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS WITH GAMES FOR LEARNING CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE

G. Smith, L. Lou, A. Feldman, P. Wang

University of South Florida (UNITED STATES)
Introduction:
Educating young people about Global Climate Change (GCC) is challenging because they have difficulty relating to its slow pace, with larger effects 10s-100s years in to the future. Further, climate change science is complex, with many variables inter-relating over time, making precise predictions problematic. Therefore, it is hard for American high school students to understand GCC and appreciate its urgency.
The purpose of the Climate Change Narrative Game Education (CHANGE) project, funded by National Science Foundation, is to develop and research an innovative model to help high school students learn complex GCC science by making it personally relevant and understandable through the use of: local, place-based futurist story telling, scientific simulation and gaming, as well as hands-on lab experiments.
The CHANGE prototype curriculum is developed based on situated cognition, which posits that “knowledge is situated, being in part a product of the activity, context, and culture in which it is developed and used” (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989).
Realistic science fiction narratives, with embedded computer games, have great potential to engage adolescents in GCC. Narrative text stories, with changes in time scale and potential for reader identification with the characters, can make GCC immediate for young people. With local stories, with characters/stakeholders familiar to students (fishermen, tourist industry professionals, farmers, real estate agents, etc.), the issues of GCC can have a greater sense of immediacy.

Research Questions:
How do (H1) framing narratives, (H2) local, place-based approach, (H3) and an intermedia text narrative, with games, affect students’:
1. learning of climate change science?
2. interest in climate change science?
3. teachers’ instruction of climate change science?

Method:
Two pilot studies were conducted. In Pilot Study 1, four high school Marine Sciences teachers and a total of 159 students in three schools participated in piloting the Harmful Algal Blooms lesson integrated in the marine Population Unit. In Pilot Study 2, two high school Marine Sciences teachers and 45 students in two schools participated in piloting the Sea Level Rise and Water Level Measurement lesson integrated in the History and Technology Unit.
Quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. Quantitative data included Liker-scale student perception surveys. Qualitative data included researcher classroom observations, and open-ended questions in the student surveys.

Results:
The majority of students found that the story engaging, the local setting was helpful and provided a nice context for what they were to learn, and that they learned from playing the embedded game on factors impacting on the red tide bloom. In the questions regarding their interest in the game, although the majority either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement that inclusion of computer games makes learning this topic more interesting, they felt that the game in pilot study 1 needed to be more fun, of higher quality, and easier to play. Pilot study 2 had similar results, except that the students responded much more positively to the computer game (which reflected design changes based on feedback from pilot study 1).

References:
[1] Brown, Collins and Duguid (1989) Situated Cognition and the Culture of Learning, Educational Researcher, 18, 32-42.
@InProceedings{SMITH2015SCI,
author = {Smith, G. and Lou, L. and Feldman, A. and Wang, P.},
title = {SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS WITH GAMES FOR LEARNING CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {6163-6169}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Smith AU - L. Lou AU - A. Feldman AU - P. Wang
TI - SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS WITH GAMES FOR LEARNING CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 6163
EP - 6169
ER -
G. Smith, L. Lou, A. Feldman, P. Wang (2015) SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS WITH GAMES FOR LEARNING CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 6163-6169.
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