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Science & Education

, Volume 28, Issue 1–2, pp 127–152 | Cite as

The Use of Interactive Fiction to Promote Conceptual Change in Science

A Forceful Adventure
  • Simon Flynn
  • Mark HardmanEmail author
Article

Abstract

In recent years, researchers within science education have started to consider the impact of narrative upon teaching and learning in science. This article investigates the possibilities of interactive fiction as a means by which students can be provided with feedback on their understanding in science, and explores the mechanisms which might allow learning from this. Through a review of literature around the use of narrative in science education, we have produced a list of recommendations that might guide the development of interactive fiction within science education. These recommendations are tested through a small-scale study in which an interactive fiction book was written around Newton’s laws, and then tested with 27, 16- and 17-year-old chemistry students, eight of whom also study post-compulsory physics. The interactive fiction developed is based upon the well-established Force Concept Inventory and this allowed the analysis of the progression of student understanding. We found that, upon reading the book, there was a significant positive effect size on the understanding of students who do not study advanced physics. The gains for those who do study post-compulsory physics were not statistically significant. The participants’ report of enjoyment is also discussed.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was conducted as part of the Masters in Science Education programme at King’s College London.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The Authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Camden School for GirlsLondonUK
  2. 2.UCL Institute of EducationLondonUK

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