Many studies have used the potential of computer games to promote students’ attitudes toward learning and increase their learning performance. A few studies have transformed scientific content into computer games or developed games with scientific content. In this paper, we employed students’ common misconceptions of chemistry regarding the properties of liquid to develop a computer game. Daily life situations and everyday phenomena related to the chemical understanding of the properties of liquid were also taken into account. Afterward, we applied a process-oriented, inquiry-based active learning approach to implement the game in a Thai high school chemistry course. We studied the implementation of a game-transformed inquiry-based learning class by comparing it to a conventional inquiry-based learning class. The results of this study include aspects of students’ conceptual understanding of chemistry and their motivation to learn chemistry. We found that students in both the game-transformed inquiry-based learning class and conventional inquiry-based learning class had a significantly increased conceptual understanding of chemistry. There was also a significant difference between the gains of both classes between the pre- and post-conceptual understanding scores. Moreover, the post-conceptual understanding scores of students in the two classes were significantly different. These findings support the notion that students can better comprehend chemistry concepts through a computer game, especially when integrated with the process-oriented, inquiry-based learning approach. The findings of this study also highlight the game-transformed inquiry-based learning approach’s support of students’ motivation to learn chemistry.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Acar, B., & Tarhan, L. (2006). Effect of cooperative learning strategies on students’ understanding of concepts in electrochemistry. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 5(2), 349–373.
Anderson, R. (2002). Reforming science teaching: what research says about inquiry. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 13(1), 1–2.
Antunes, M., Pacheco, M., & Giovanela, M. (2012). Design and implementation of an educational game for teaching chemistry in higher education. Journal of Chemical Education, 89(4), 517–521.
Ayyıldız, Y., & Tarhan, L. (2013). Case study applications in chemistry lesson: gases, liquids, and solids. Chememical Education Research Practice, 14(4), 408–420.
Berg, C. (2005). Factors related to observed attitude change toward learning chemistry among university students. Chemical Education Research Practice, 6(1), 1–18.
Bergquist, W., & Heikkinen, H. (1990). Student ideas regarding chemical equilibrium. Journal of Chemical Education, 67(12), 1000–1003.
Bouwma-Gearhart, J., Stewart, J., & Brown, K. (2009). Student misapplication of a gas-like model to explain particle movement in heated solids: implications for curriculum and instruction towards students’ creation and revision of accurate explanatory models. International Journal of Science Education, 31(9), 1157–1174.
Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (2000). How people learn: brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Bressler, D. M., & Bodzin, A. M. (2016). Investigating flow experience and scientific practices during a mobile serious educational game. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 25(5), 795–805.
Bridle, C., & Yezierski, E. (2012). Evidence for the effectiveness of inquiry-based, particulate-level instruction on conceptions of the particulate nature of matter. Journal of Chemical Education, 89(2), 192–198.
Buck, L., Bretz, S., & Towns, M. (2008). Characterizing the level of inquiry in the undergraduate laboratory. Journal of College Science Teaching, 38(1), 52–58.
Chee, S. Y., & Tan, K. (2012). Becoming chemists through game-based inquiry learning: the case of Legends of Alkhimia. Electronic Journal of E-Learning, 10(2).
Chen, Z. H., Liao, C. C. Y., Chien, T. C., & Chan, T. W. (2011). Animal companions: fostering children’s effort-making by nurturing virtual pets. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(1), 166–180.
Daubenfeld, T., & Zenker, D. (2015). A game-based approach to an entire physical chemistry course. Journal of Chemical Education, 92(2), 269–277.
De Castell, S., Jenson, J., & Taylor, N. (2007). Digital games for education: when meanings play. Intermedialities, (9), 45–54.
Demircioglu, G., Ayas, A., & Demircioglu, H. (2005). Conceptual change achieved through a new teaching program on acids and bases. Chemical Education Research Practice, 6(1), 36–51.
Dorji, U., Panjaburee, P., & Srisawasdi, N. (2015). A learning cycle approach to developing educational computer game for improving students’ learning and awareness in electric energy consumption and conservation. Educational Technology & Society, 18(1), 91–105.
Eilam, B. (2004). Drops of water and of soap solution: students’ constraining mental models of the nature of matter. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(10), 970–993.
Erhel, S., & Jamet, E. (2013). Digital game-based learning: Impact of instructions and feedback on motivation and learning effectiveness. Computers & Education, 67, 156–167.
Frailich, M., Kesner, M., & Hofstein, A. (2009). Enhancing students’ understanding of the concept of chemical bonding by using activities provided on an interactive website. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(3), 289–310.
Giannakos, M. (2013). Enjoy and learn with educational games: examining factors affecting learning performance. Computers & Education, 68, 429–439.
Glynn, S., Brickman, P., Armstrong, N., & Taasoobshirazi, G. (2011). Science motivation questionnaire II: validation with science majors and nonscience majors. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(10), 1159–1176.
Griffiths, A. K., & Preston, K. R. (1992). Grade-12 students’ misconceptions relating to fundamental characteristics of atoms and molecules. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29(6), 611–628.
Haussler, P., & Hoffmann, L. (2002). An intervention study to enhance girls’ interest, self-concept, and achievement in physics classes. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(9), 870–888.
Hodge, R. (1993). Teaching as communication. Harlow: Longman.
Hofstein, A., Navon, O., Kipnis, M., & Mamlok-Naaman, R. (2005). Developing students’ ability to ask more and better questions resulting from inquiry-type chemistry laboratories. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42(7), 791–806.
Huang, W. (2011). Evaluating learners’ motivational and cognitive processing in an online game-based learning environment. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(2), 694–704.
Hwang, G. J., & Wu, P. H. (2012). Advancements and trends in digital game-based learning research: a review of publications in selected journals from 2001 to 2010. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(1), E6–E10.
Hwang, G., Chiu, L., & Chen, C. (2015). A contextual game-based learning approach to improving students’ inquiry-based learning performance in social studies courses. Computers & Education, 81, 13–25.
Kavak, N. (2012). ChemOkey: a game to reinforce nomenclature. Journal of Chemical Education, 89(8), 1047–1049.
Klahr, D., & Dunbar, K. (1988). Dual space search during scientific reasoning. Cognitive Science, 12(1), 1–48.
Lamb, R., Akmal, T., & Petrie, K. (2015). Development of a cognition-priming model describing learning in a STEM classroom. Journalof Research in Science Teaching, 52(3), 410–437.
Lee, H. S., & Butler, N. (2003). Making authentic science accessible to students. International Journal of Science Education, 25(8), 923–948.
Lee, C., & Chen, M. (2009). A computer game as a context for non-routine mathematical problem solving: the effects of type of question prompt and level of prior knowledge. Computers & Education, 52(3), 530–542.
Leite, L., Mendoza, J., & Borsese, A. (2007). Teachers’ and prospective teachers’ explanations of liquid-state phenomena: a comparative study involving three European countries. Journalof Research in Science Teaching, 44(2), 349–374.
Li, D., & Lim, C. (2008). Scaffolding online historical inquiry tasks: a case study of two secondary school classrooms. Computers & Education, 50(4), 1394–1410.
Lim, B. (2004). Challenges and issues in designing inquiry on the web. British Journal of Educational Technology, 35(2004), 627–643.
Linn, M. C., Gerard, L., Ryoo, K., McElhaney, K., Liu, O. L., & Rafferty, A. N. (2014). Education technology. Computer-guided inquiry to improve science learning. Science (New York, N.Y.), 344(6180), 155–156.
Mcnamara, D. S., Jackson, G. T., & Graesser. (2010). Intelligent Tutoring and Games (ItaG). Gaming for classroom-based learning: digital role playing as a motivator of study, 44–57.
Moore, E. B., Timothy, A., Herzog, T. A., & Perkins, K. (2013). Interactive simulations as implicit support for guided inquiry. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 14(3), 257–268.
Moos, D., & Marroquin, E. (2010). Multimedia, hypermedia, and hypertext: motivation considered and reconsidered. Computers In Human Behavior, 26(3), 265–276.
Mueller, F., Gibbs, M., & Vetere, F. (2010). Towards understanding how to design for social play in exertion games. Personal Ubiquitous Computing, 14(5), 417–424.
Murphy, P., & Alexander, P. (2000). A motivated exploration of motivation terminology. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 3–53.
Nakhleh, M., & Samarapungavan, A. (1999). Elementary school children’s beliefs about matter. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(7), 777–805.
National Research Council. (2000). Inquiry and the national science education standards: a guide for teaching and learning. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Noh, T., & Scharmann, L. (1997). Instructional influence of a molecular-level pictorial presentation of matter on students’ conceptions and problem-solving ability. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34(2), 199–217.
Novak, J. D. (2002). Meaningful learning: the essential factor for conceptual change in limited or appropriate propositional hierarchies (LIPHs) leading to empowerment of learners. Science Education, 86(4), 548–571.
Oliver, R. (2008). Engaging first year students using a web-supported inquiry-based learning setting. Higher Education, 55(3), 285–301.
Osborne, J., & Collins, S. (2001). Pupils’ views of the role and value of the science curriculum: a focus-group study. International Journal of Science Education, 23(5), 441–467.
Ozmen, H. (2011). Effect of animation enhanced conceptual change texts on 6th grade students’ understanding of the particulate nature of matter and transformation during phase changes. Computers & Education, 57(1), 1114–1126.
Papastergiou, M. (2009). Digital game-based learning in high school computer science education: Impact on educational effectiveness and student motivation. Computers & Education, 52(1), 1–12.
Pedaste, M., & Sarapuu, T. (2006). Developing an effective support system for inquiry learning in a Web-based environment. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 22(1), 47–62.
Pilli, O., & Aksu, M. (2013). The effects of computer-assisted instruction on the achievement, attitudes and retention of fourth grade mathematics students in North Cyprus. Computers & Education, 62, 62–71.
Pyatt, K., & Sims, R. (2012). Virtual and physical experimentation in inquiry-based science labs: attitudes, performance and access. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 21(1), 133–147.
Schauble, L. (1996). The development of scientific reasoning in knowledge-rich contexts. Developmental Psychology, 32(1), 102–119.
Schmidt, H. J. (1999). Should chemistry lessons be more intellectually challenging? Chemistry Education: Research and Practice in Europe, 1(1), 17–26.
Schmidt, H. J., Baumgartner, T., & Eybe, H. (2003). Changing ideas about the periodic table of elements and students’ alternative concepts of isotopes and allotropes. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(3), 257–277.
Sirhan, G. (2007). Learning difficulties in chemistry: an overview. Journal of Turkish Science Education, 4(2), 2–20.
Skamp, K. (1999). Are atoms and molecules too difficult for primary children? School Science Review, 81(295), 87–96.
Snir, J., Smith, C., & Raz, G. (2003). Linking phenomena with competing underlying models: a software tool for introducing students to the particulate model of matter. Science Education, 87(6), 794–830.
Song, Y., & Wen, Y. (2018). Integrating various apps on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) into seamless inquiry-based learning to enhance primary students’ science learning. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 27(2), 165–176.
Sorensen, B., & Meyer, B. (2007). Serious Games in language learning and teaching-a theoretical perspective, DiGRA Conference Proceedings, 559–566.
Srisawasdi, N. (2012). Student teachers’ perceptions of computerized laboratory practice for science teaching: a comparative analysis. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 4031–4038.
Srisawasdi, N. (2015). Evaluation of motivational impact of a computer-based nanotechnology inquiry learning module on the gender gap. Journal of Nano Education, 7(1), 28–37 (10).
Srisawasdi, N., & Kroothkeaw, S. (2014). Supporting students’ conceptual learning and retention of light refraction concepts by simulation-based inquiry with dual-situated learning model. Journal of Computers in Education, 1(1), 49–79.
Srisawasdi, N., & Sormkhatha, P. (2014). The effect of simulation-based inquiry on students’ conceptual learning and its potential applications in mobile learning. International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation, 8(1), 24–49.
Stieff, M. (2011). Improving representational competence using molecular simulations embedded in inquiry activities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(10), 1137–1158.
Stone, R. (2009). Serious games: virtual reality’s second coming? Virtual Reality, 13(1), 1–2.
Suits, J. P., & Srisawasdi, N. (2013). Use of an interactive computer-simulated experiment to enhance students’ mental models of hydrogen bonding phenomena. In J. P. Suits & M. J. Sanger (Eds.), Pedagogic roles of animations and simulations in chemistry courses ACS Symposium Series (p. 1142). Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.
Sung, H., & Hwang, G. (2013). A collaborative game-based learning approach to improving students’ learning performance in science courses. Computers & Education, 63, 43–51.
Taber, K., & Garcia-Franco, A. (2010). Learning processes in chemistry: drawing upon cognitive resources to learn about the particulate structure of matter. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(1), 99–142.
Toro-Troconis, M. & Partrigde, M. (2010). Designing Game-based learning activities in virtual worlds: experiences from undergraduate medicine. Gaming for Classroom-Based Learning: use of gaming in virtual worlds, 270–289.
Ucar, S., & Trundle, K. C. (2011). Conducting guided inquiry in science classes using authentic, archived, web-based data. Computers & Education, 57(2), 1571–1582.
Watson, W., Mong, C., & Harris, C. (2011). A case study of the in-class use of a video game for teaching high school history. Computers & Education, 56(2), 466–474.
Yakmaci-Guzel, B. (2013). Preservice chemistry teachers in action: an evaluation of attempts for changing high school students’ chemistry misconceptions into more scientific conceptions. Chemical Education Research Practice, 14(1), 95–104.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Mahidol University and Khon Kaen University. The author would like to thank Mrs. Nattida Nantakaew, chemistry teacher, and current member of Frontiers of Educational Science and Technology (FEST) Research Network, Thailand, for her contribution of previous research works. The authors also thank teachers, principal, and students of the school.
This study was funded by Mahidol University, Thailand (grant no. 80/2561).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Mahidol University Central Institutional Review Board, Thailand with the COA No. MU-CIRB 2018/091.0105 declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
About this article
Cite this article
Srisawasdi, N., Panjaburee, P. Implementation of Game-transformed Inquiry-based Learning to Promote the Understanding of and Motivation to Learn Chemistry. J Sci Educ Technol 28, 152–164 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-018-9754-0
- Game-based learning
- Digital game
- Teaching and learning strategies
- Active learning
- Inquiry-based learning