Skip to main content

Digital Games in Non-formal and Informal Learning Practices for Science Learning: A Case Study

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 11899)

Abstract

This paper examines non-formal and informal learning practices for science learning. Through a case study and an exploratory, qualitative approach we identify aspects involved such as the content, the goals, the pedagogical approaches, the settings, the role of fun and playfulness, challenges, and the role of the practitioner. Data was collected through interviews and a survey. Despite the diversity in the format, settings, structure, and target group of the practices examined in this study, there seems to be a convergence in certain themes such as the objectives of the practices, the pedagogical approaches involved, and the importance of fun. These aspects are linked with the design and implementation of digital games in the context of informal and non-formal science learning. Further issues emerged from the analysis such as gender representation, resources required for efficient implementation of practices, and the role of the parents. Strengthening the links between formal and informal or non-formal science learning practices could benefit not only formal education but access of students to and effectiveness of non-formal and informal practices as well.

Keywords

  • Science learning
  • Informal learning
  • Non-formal learning
  • Digital games
  • Game based learning

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-34350-7_52
  • Chapter length: 10 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-34350-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   89.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.

Notes

  1. 1.

    https://comnplayscience.eu/.

References

  1. Biles, M.: Leveraging insights from mainstream gameplay to inform STEM game design: great idea, but what comes next? Cult. Stud. Sci. Educ. 7(4), 903–908 (2012)

    MathSciNet  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. Bricker, L.A., Bell, P.: “GodMode is his video game name”: situating learning and identity in structures of social practice. Cult. Stud. Sci. Educ. 7(4), 883–902 (2012)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Jeremiassen, K.S.: Differences in students’ stem identity, game play motivations, and game preferences. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Houston-Clear Lake (2018)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Mayo, M.J.: Video games: a route to large-scale stem education? Science 323(5910), 79–82 (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Williamson, B., Facer, K.: More than “just a game”: the implications for schools of children’s computer games communities. Educ. Commun. Inform. 4, 255–270 (2004)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  6. Ito, M.: Sociocultural contexts of game-based learning. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine. Paper presented at the workshop for the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Learning Science: Computer Games, Simulations, and Education (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Fowler, A.: Informal STEM learning in game jams, hackathons and game creation events. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons, and Game Creation Events, New York, NY, USA, pp. 38–41 (2016)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Arya, A., Chastine, J., Preston, J., Fowler, A.: An international study on learning and process choices in the global game jam. IJGBL 3(4), 27–46 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Squire, K., Patterson, N.: Games and simulations in informal science education. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Washington, DC, Paper commissioned for the National Research Council Workshop on Gaming and Simulations, October 2009

    Google Scholar 

  10. Eshach, H.: Bridging in-school and out-of-school learning: formal, non-formal, and informal education. J. Sci. Educ. Technol. 16(2), 171–190 (2007)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  11. Tisza, G., et al.: The role of age and gender on implementing informal and non-formal science learning activities for children. In: Proceedings of the FabLearn Europe 2019 Conference, New York, NY, USA, pp. 10:1–10:9 (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  12. Falk, J.H., Hall, W.: Understanding the informal science education landscape: an exploratory study. Public Underst. Sci. 21(7), 865–874 (2012)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  13. Honey, M., Hilton, M.L.: Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations. National Academies Press, Washington (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Shaffer, D.W.: Epistemic frames for epistemic games. Comput. Educ. 46(3), 223–234 (2006)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  15. Saldaña, J.: The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Sage Publications Ltd., London (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  16. Patton, M.Q.: Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, 3rd edn. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  17. Allen, S., Peterman, K.: Evaluating informal STEM education: issues and challenges in context. New Direct. Eval. 2019(161), 17–33 (2019)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  18. Feinstein, N.: Salvaging science literacy. Sci. Educ. 95(1), 168–185 (2011)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the participants in the survey and interviews, the COMnPLAY project partners, and our colleagues Jasper Schellekens and Anonios Liapis who collaborated with us for conducting this study and with comments on this manuscript. This work was supported by the EU funded Horizon 2020 project COMnPLAY Science.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Iro Voulgari .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Voulgari, I., Yannakakis, G.N. (2019). Digital Games in Non-formal and Informal Learning Practices for Science Learning: A Case Study. In: Liapis, A., Yannakakis, G., Gentile, M., Ninaus, M. (eds) Games and Learning Alliance. GALA 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 11899. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-34350-7_52

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-34350-7_52

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-34349-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-34350-7

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)