Application Of Videogames To Improve Learning In A Classroom Environment

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Inquiry Question: How can videogames be used to improve learning in a classroom environment?

Goal:My goal for this project is to create an educational game using a software called Unity. This should allow me to build 2D and 3D environments, as well as simpler button pressing games such as Kahoot. I aim to create an interactive game aimed at younger children, as these usually have more trouble focusing in a classroom. The school subject that the game will focus on depends on the results I get from my survey, as I am asking classmates what subjects they feel an interactive game would be most effective in.

Global Context:The global context that I am focusing on with this project is scientific and technical innovation. This is because one of the major parts of this global context is “the impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environments”. An educational game fits this perfectly, as it is an example of how technological advances can have a positive improvement on school communities and learning environments. This is because some younger students may have problems focusing in class, so an interactive game can provide a much better way of conveying information to them, as it can be more rewarding and fun than a normal lesson.

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The Challenge: The challenge that comes with my project is quite a large one, in that I have no previous experience with coding or creating a game of any sort. I will have to learn from scratch how to create a game in Unity, and I will have to learn the coding language C++. As well as this, I will have to research game design and how to make a rewarding and fun interactive game for my target audience: young children. This will be very difficult and require a lot of time, but to counteract this I will try not to make my game too complicated.

Prior Knowledge: The only prior knowledge I have with anything close to coding is from previous software design classes. In these I have worked with a software called Scratch, which is a very simple building block sort of coding, that requires close to no knowledge on the subject. This does not help me much with my project, as it is much more simple than the software I am planning on using. Recently in software design I have started to learn Swift, which is the programming language that Apple uses for their apps and software. This could be of more help to me than Scratch, as it requires actual typing and coding, rather than using premade building blocks. Nevertheless, it is still a different language and we are also not designing a game, so both of these aspects of my project will still be extremely challenging.

Research Methods: To gain a better understanding of how to make my game more entertaining, I have looked at two sources: A BBC Bitesize page on Making a Good Video Game, and a YouTube video outlining specific game mechanics which make games more enjoyable. As well as these two sources, I have looked at a book written by the two owners of an IT company on how to code in C++, as this will be needed for me to create my game in Unity. I have also looked at the history of educational games, and examples of some of the most popular ones leading up to 2014. I found the information on a blog created by a development team called Immersed Games. This development team specialises in educational games for kids, so it had a very strong link with my project. An OPVL has been done on all four of these sources to ensure they are reliable (Appendix A). Finally, to gather some data on the opinions of students at ACS Egham, I created a google form, and emailed it to people in Grade 10. The form aimed to find out whether there is a need for video games in a classroom, and what the game should look like (Appendix B). Finally, I am planning a meeting with Mr Jennings, which will have to be done after Criterion A is turned in, but I hope to gain more information on how to make my game.

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