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Abstract Title: Conceptual Change in Physics Through Use of Digital Games
Abstract: Research has demonstrated that well-designed games can effectively scaffold student learning (Clark, Nelson, Sengupta, & D'Angelo, 2009). However, games for learning, especially in the domain of physics, have barely explored how the process of conceptual change occurs during game play; rather the emphasis has been on showing the effectiveness of games by showing pre-post gains (Anderson & Barnett, 2011; Barab et al., 2009). This study investigates the process of knowledge construction in students as they play a digital game based on Newtonian mechanics by using the microgenetic method (Siegler & Crowley, 1991). Grounded in the knowledge in pieces perspective (Clark, et al., 2009; diSessa, 1993; Hammer, 1996), we identify conceptual resources that are activated during each level of game play and analyze how these resources get reorganized toward more expert-like thinking about the relevant physics concepts as students progress in their game play.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Kara Krinks
Vanderbilt University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Pratim Sengupta, Vanderbilt University
Douglas B. Clark, Vanderbilt University