- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
Serious games have unique strengths that can be used to augment science education. For the current study, we developed and investigated a serious game to assess kindergartners’ discovery of the laws of physics in the so-called Hippo app. The participants were 71 children, aged 5 years and 5 months on average. The app consisted of three game-plays: slides, seesaw, and pendulum. Children were asked to set variables (such as the steepness of the slide) correctly in order to provide a hungry hippo with a drink or some food. Children’s gaming behavior was assessed via exploration and efficiency scores, and next related to executive control, nonverbal reasoning, and vocabulary. Exploration was defined as the number of actions corrected for the total playing time, efficiency as the number of correctly solved problems corrected for the total number of attempts. The results revealed that efficiency and exploration scores did not correlate significantly, indicating two distinct types of gaming behaviors. Both types were associated with attentional control. Mediation analysis showed that the relation between exploration and attentional control was mediated by vocabulary, while the relation between efficiency and attentional control was mediated by nonverbal reasoning. To conclude, kindergartners’ efficiency and exploration can be seen as independent game behaviors; both demanding attentional control, but mediated by verbal skills in the case of exploration and by nonverbal reasoning in the case of efficiency.
The present study set out to investigate game exploration and game efficiency in relation to executive control, vocabulary, and nonverbal reasoning. Our first result was that game exploration depended on the level of the game-play only and that game efficiency related to both the type of game-play and the level of the game-play, as expected. It is therefore feasible to assess children’s exploration and efficiency in scientific thinking using a serious game. In addition, we found the scores for game exploration and efficiency were not significantly related. Therefore, we investigated individual differences separately. Our final result was that attentional control predicted both game exploration and game efficiency. We found the relation between game exploration and attention control to be mediated by vocabulary, and the relation between game efficiency and attention control by nonverbal reasoning. The first result was that the in-game behaviors were related to the level of the game-play. There was less exploration and more efficiency when the level increased. An increase in level meant a decrease in the number of variables. When there are fewer variables, it seemed easier to solve the game-play. This result is in line with other studies on scientific reasoning that found that performance depends on the number of variables. When kindergartners have to predict and explain what side of a balance beam would go down, their performance decreases when they have to incorporate distance (to the fulcrum), besides weight, in their predictions and explanations (Siegler, 1976). Another study on scientific reasoning of kindergartners found that children design fewer experiments correctly when the number of variables they have to set increases (Van der Graaf et al., 2015). The level of the game-play also related to game exploration. When there were fewer variables, there was less exploration. This is in line with the design of the game-plays. When there are fewer variables, there are fewer possibilities to interact with the game, which results in less exploration. Also, the levels with fewer variables were easier to solve, as revealed by the effect of game efficiency. Another aspect of the app was that there were three different game-plays, the slides, the seesaw, and the pendulum. The present results showed that the game-play of the slides was easiest, followed by the seesaw, and that the pendulum was most difficult. The slides were expected to be easiest, because conceptual understanding of the slides is present in kindergartners (Inhelder & Piaget, 1958). Inhelder and Piaget (1958) also described the development of understanding on the seesaw, which, just as Siegler (1976) showed, is difficult for kindergartners, as they experience diffi- culties in identifying distance to the fulcrum as a variable. In their descriptions of the physics topics, Inhelder and Piaget (1958) made clear that complete understanding of the pendulum emerges latest.