Finding frogs: using game-based learning to increase environmental awareness

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PubDate: June 2017

Teams: Virginia Tech

Writers: Nicholas Polys;Jessica Hotter;Madison Lanier;Laura Purcell;Jordan Wolf;W. Cully Hession;Peter Sforza;James D. Ivory

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Abstract

We explored how game-based learning (GBL) can influence environmental awareness in undergraduate college students using an original 3D application. GBL approaches posit that learners who interact with educational materials with playful and dynamic tasks will learn better. In a two-condition laboratory experiment, participants (N = 84) interacted with game and non-game versions of a 3D GIS interactive visualization of Blacksburg, Virginia, containing information about local waterways. A questionnaire assessed enjoyment, general environmental awareness, local environmental awareness, and awareness of local environmental installations. Participants who interacted with the game version reported more enjoyment of the application than participants using the non-game version, and exploratory analyses suggested that the game-based version induced greater interest in seeking more information than the non-game version. Lessons learned from outcomes may inform development of future environmental campaigns employing game-based learning.

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