Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 667–680 | Cite as

Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of Using Video Games to Enhance Science Instruction

  • Matthew T. Marino
  • Maya Israel
  • Constance C. Beecher
  • James D. Basham
Article

Abstract

Science education video game research points toward promising, but inconclusive results in both student learning outcomes and attitudes. However, student-level variables other than gender have been largely absent from this research. This study examined how students’ reading ability level and disability status are related to their video game-playing behaviors outside of school and their perceptions about the use of science video games during school. Thirty-four teachers and 876 sixth- through ninth-grade students from 14 states participated in the study. All student groups reported that they would prefer to learn science from a video game rather than from traditional text, laboratory-based, or Internet environments. Chi-square analyses indicated a significant association between reading ability level, disability status, and key areas of interest including students’ use of video games outside of school, their perceptions of their scientific abilities, and whether they would pursue a career in the sciences. Implications of these findings and areas for future research are identified.

Keywords

Video games Science Adolescents Reading ability Disability 

References

  1. Aud S, Hussar W, Johnson F, Kena G, Roth E, Manning E, Wang X et al (2012) The condition of education 2012 (NCES 2012-045). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC. Retrieved 15 May 2012 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch
  2. Barab SA, Dede C (2007) Games and immersive participatory simulations for science education: an emerging type of curricula. J Sci Educ Technol 16(1):1–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barab SA, Sadler TD, Heislet C, Hickey D, Zuiker S (2007) Relating narrative, inquiry, and inscriptions: supporting consequential play. J Sci Educ Technol 16(1):59–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barendregt W, Bekker TM (2011) The influence of the level of free-choice learning activities on the use of an educational computer game. Comput Educ 56:80–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bourgonjon J, Valcke M, Soetaert R, Schellens T (2010) Students’ perceptions about the use of video games in the classroom. Comput Educ 54:1145–1156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brigham FJ, Scruggs TE, Mastropieri MA (2011) Science education and students with learning disabilities. Learn Disabil Res Pract 26(4):223–232Google Scholar
  7. Center for Applied Special Technology (2012a) Acknowledging learner variability. Retrieved 12 May 2012 from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/changes
  8. Center for Applied Special Technology (2012b) UDL guidelines—version 2.0. Retrieved 12 May 2012 from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines
  9. Coller BD, Scott MJ (2009) Effectiveness of using a video game to teach a course in mechanical engineering. Comput Educ 53:900–912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Creswell JW, Plano Clark VL (2007) Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Sage Publications Inc., Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  11. Dieterle E (2009) Neomillennial learning styles and River City. Child Youth Environ 19(1):245–278Google Scholar
  12. Gee JP (2011) Reflections on empirical evidence on games and learning. In: Tobias S, Fletcher JD (eds) Computer games and instruction. Information Age Publishers, Charlotte, pp 223–232Google Scholar
  13. Gersten R, Edyburn D (2007) Defining quality indicators for group designs in special education technology research. J Spec Educ Technol 22(3):3–18Google Scholar
  14. Glaser B, Strauss AL (1967) The discovery of grounded theory: strategies for qualitative research. Aldine, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Goh DH, Ang RP, Tan HC (2008) Strategies for designing effective psychotherapeutic gaming interventions for children and adolescents. Comput Hum Behav 24:2217–2235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hamalainen R (2008) Designing and evaluating collaboration in a virtual game environment for vocational learning. Comput Educ 50:98–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huang H, Rauch U, Liaw S (2010) Investigating learners’ attitudes toward virtual reality learning environments: based on a constructivist approach. Comput Educ 55:1171–1182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kafai YB, Quintero M, Feldon D (2010) Investigating the “why” in Whypox: causal and systematic explorations in a virtual epidemic. Games Cult 5(1):116–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ketelhut DJ (2007) The impact of student self-efficacy on scientific inquiry skills: an exploratory investigation in River City, a multi-user virtual environment. J Sci Educ Technol 16(1):99–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kim B, Park H, Baek Y (2009) Not just fun, but serious strategies: using meta-cognitive strategies in game-based learning. Comput Educ 52:800–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Klopfer E (2008) Augmented reality: research and design of mobile educational games. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  22. Lin H, Lawrenz F, Lin S, Hong ZH (2012) Relationships among affective factors and preferred engagement in science-related activities. Public Underst Sci (in press)Google Scholar
  23. Marino MT (2010) Defining a technology research agenda for elementary and secondary students with learning and other high incidence disabilities in inclusive science classrooms. J Spec Educ Technol 25(1):1–28Google Scholar
  24. Marino MT, Beecher CC (2010) Conceptualizing RTI in 21st Century secondary science classrooms: video games’ potential to provide tiered support and progress monitoring for students with learning disabilities. Learn Disab Q 33(4):299–311Google Scholar
  25. Marino MT, Hayes MT (2012) Promoting inclusive education, civic scientific literacy, and global citizenship with video games. Cult Stud Sci Educ. doi:10.1007/s11422-012-9429-8
  26. Marino MT, Basham JD, Beecher CC (2011) Using video games as an alternative science assessment for students with disabilities and at-risk learners. Sci Scope 34(5):36–41Google Scholar
  27. Merriam SB (2002) Qualitative research in practice. Jossey-Bass, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  28. Moshirnia AV, Israel M (2010) The impact of distinct information delivery systems in modified video games on student learning. J Interact Learn Res 21(3):383–405Google Scholar
  29. National Research Council (2011) Learning science through computer games and simulations. In: Honey MA, Hilton ML (eds) Committee on science learning: computer games, simulations, and education. Board on Science Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. The National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  30. Painter J, Jones MG, Tretter TR, Kubasko D (2006) Pulling back the curtain: uncovering and changing students’ perceptions of scientists. School Sci Math 106(4):181–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Palmer DH (2009) Student interest generated during inquiry skills lesson. J Res Sci Teach 46(2):147–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rosenbaum E, Klopfer E, Perry J (2006) On location learning: authentic and applied science with networked augmented realities. J Sci Educ Technol 16(1):31–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Squire KD (2010) From information to experience. Place-based augmented reality games as a model for learning in a globally networked society. Teach Coll Rec 112(10):4–5Google Scholar
  34. Steinkuehler C, Duncan S (2008) Scientific habits of mind in virtual worlds. J Sci Educ Technol 17(6):530–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tanes Z, Cemalcilar Z (2010) Learning from SimCity: an empirical study of Turkish adolescents. J Adol 33:731–739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tytler R, Symington D, Smith C (2011) A curriculum innovation framework for science, technology, and mathematics education. Res Sci Educ 41(1):19–38. doi:10.1007/s11165-009-9144-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Vedder-Weiss D, Fortus D (2011) Adolescents’ declining motivation to learn science: inevitable or not? J Res Sci Teach 48(2):199–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Villanueva MG, Hand B (2011) Science for all: engaging students with special needs in and about science. Learn Disabil Res Pract 26(4):233–240Google Scholar
  39. Wilson KA, Bedwell WL, Lazzara EH, Salas E, Burke CS, Estock JL et al (2009) Relationship between game attributes and learning outcomes: review and research proposals. Simul Gaming 40:217–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Young MF, Slota S, Cutter AB, Jalette G, Mullin G, Lai B, Simeoni Z, Tran M, Yukhymenko M (2012) Our princess is in another castle: a review of trends in serious gaming for education. Rev Educ Res 82(1):61–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew T. Marino
    • 1
  • Maya Israel
    • 2
  • Constance C. Beecher
    • 3
  • James D. Basham
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Child, Family and Community SciencesUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Special EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  3. 3.Juniper GardensUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  4. 4.Department of Special EducationUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

Personalised recommendations