Gaming and Motivation Lesson Plan

Learning Objective: The purpose of my action research project is to increase student engagement using technology and peer cooperation. By using the principles of Newton’s Laws of Motion students will solve problems to try to rescue Sir Isaac Newton from being captured. 

  1. Pacing:  What is the pace of your lesson or game?  Who will go first? Isaac Newton in his attempt to perfect time travel sent himself to 2113, 100 years into our future. The students in playing the game must complete 10 levels of the game in an attempt to rescue Newton and take him back to his time period. Each level moves the students 10 years into the future. The students work in pairs and must complete each decade or level in 12 minutes. 
  2. Instructions:  How will your learners learn how to play your game? At the beginning of the game students will receive instructions from their “Uncle Isaac” that he has sent himself to the future and needs their help to return to his time period. During each decade he left them an iPhone with guidance and instructions for the next decade. They must find this iPhone before they can move on to the next decade. This will be where the students receive all instructions for missions, problems, and where to go next.
  3. Controls:  What will the learners manipulate in your game? Students will be able to choose and modify their characters. They will move their characters with key board controls such as left, right, up, and down arrows, spacebar to jump, enter key to pick things up, and the number or letter keys to answer questions. 
  4. Knowledge:  What do you expect your learners to know when they enter the game? What do you want them to learn from this game based lesson? What do you expect them to know when they leave? Students will start with no equipment. As they progress they have the opportunity to pick things up by solving problems related to and utilizing Newton’s Laws of Motion. Students will come in with at least a basic knowledge of what these laws are. As they are playing the game students will learn how to utilize these laws in real-life situations and apply the content to problems in the game. At the end of the game students will have a solid grasp on examples of Newton’s Laws of Motion and how they apply to daily routines and activities. 
  5. Achievements:  What are the short term and long term victories for the learner?  How do you incorporate operant conditioning in your lesson? As students progress through the game they gain various tools and equipment such as a vehicle, money, food/energy, etc to help them on their journey to rescuing their Uncle Isaac from the future. At the end of every level they must find the iPhone with instructions for the next level. At the end of the game the students must get Isaac Newton back to his time period so he can finish his great accomplishments contributing to the world we know today. Every time students answer a question wrong they lose an important aspect of technology. It can be as simple as the wheel, color, or fire and as complex as electricity. When students answer three questions wrong they must start the level over again.
  6. Story:  What is the immersive story or background information that brings the learner deep into your world? The students begin as Isaac Newton’s Great, Great, Great……Nephew/Niece. They soon learn that their Uncle has accidentally sent himself into the future trying to perfect time travel and cannot find his way back. As they are learning of this they notice subtle changes to their world such as lack of space exploration. They learn that their world will change quickly if they cannot get their uncle back to his time period in order to publish his great work and return the world back to the way it was. As they travel from decade to decade to the year 2113 where their uncle is imprisoned they begin noticing the changing of their world and must hurry before technology and scientific knowledge as they know it ceases to exist. They learn just how much their uncle contributed to the world and their future. 
  7. Endgame:  Who is the evil boss character they have to fight at the end?  What is the final outcome?  Is there an ending to your game? The game ends when the students get to the year 2113. The students find their uncle and must help him fix his time machine before all the scientific advances and technology disappear and they are stuck in a world where motion, forces, color, optics, and the telescope simply do not exist! As students are fixing the time machine they must solve various problems relating to Newton’s Laws of Motion and apply what they know of these laws to find the parts needed for the machine. 
  8. Assessment:  What are the built in assessments to your game? After every level is passed students’ statistics are saved in game. They can see how many problems they got right and wrong and what types of questions they solved as well as how long it took them to answer each question or complete each level. 
  9. Timing:  What is the overall time you have to play this game and how do you adjust to make the game go faster or slower? It can take a maximum of 120 minutes to complete the entire game if students complete every level in exactly 12 minutes. It can take longer if students must start levels over because of answering questions wrong. Students have two tries to complete each level in the allotted time frame. If they do not meet the time requirements after the second time the world reverts back to prehistoric times and they must start over again. 
  10. Fun and Motivation: Why is this game fun and why would your learners like this game? What motivation theory does your lesson address?  What operant conditions are in place? The students would be interested in seeing what the future looks like in this game. I believe they would also like to see what a world would be like without various accomplishments of Isaac Newton. The student’s curiosity will be the students’ driving force behind wanting to play the game. Keeping everything novel and eccentric will help increase the curiosity. I believe this game appeals to the Self-Efficacy and Achievement Motivational Theories because it gives them the opportunity to earn in game rewards for solving problems. Students will learn that they need to answer questions carefully, but quickly in order to gain materials to complete each level.

May: Month 9 GSM

1. In completing Cycle 1 of my Capstone project I used a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data. For my qualitative data I used pre and post surveys, student interviews, observational notes, and a KWL chart. For the quantitative data I used pre and post assessments, a skit project with rubric for grading, and few small lab assignments from Explore Learning.

2.  My pre surveys for both Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 found that the students did not find science interesting. They stated their favorite part of science were the labs and gave no clear area of enjoyment. In the post surveys nearly all students enjoyed science because of the projects and stated that their favorited area was Physics, Newton’s Laws of Motion, or Energy. In the pre assessments the average grade was a 33% and in the post assessments the average grade was an 80% where 19 out of 24 received an 80% or better in Cycle 1 and 11 out of 17 of the students received an 80 or better out of 100 in Cycle 2. For the skit assignments only 4 out of the 24 students received less than an 80% with their grade being no less than a 70%. In the Cycle 2 roller coaster project 16 out of the 22 students received 100 points out of a total of 100 possible. The other 6 were either absent or did not turn the project in. Overall in Cycle 1 students seemed to enjoy working on the skit project and finding ways to present Newton’s Laws of Motion. The students found Schoology convenient, however it was hard for them to remember that this tool was available to them. Few of them accessed Schoology from home as seen in student interviews.  Students seemed to complete more work when the entire class was in the computer lab as opposed to when we were using laptops in the classroom as seen in my observational notes. In contrast, the Cycle 2 participants worked better when we worked on the laptops in the classroom as opposed to being in the computer lab as seen in student interviews. The Cycle 2 participants completed more of the activities than the Cycle 1 participants as seen in the submitted assignments in Schoology. The Cycle 2 participants also enjoyed the roller coaster project as seen in their grades and completed projects. Interviews in both Cycles showed that the students enjoyed the peer work, hands-on learning, and ability to have the notes readily available for review.

3. I believe GSM will contribute to my Capstone or classroom by giving me different ways to help facilitate the learning of my students. GSM will help me learn the benefits of virtual games and how they can enhance student engagement, participation, and collaboration in the classroom. Students are using games on a regular basis so if I have the tools to utilize that in Physics education or other areas of science the students will have that much more interest in the content being taught. This knowledge will also provide the student an opportunity to show what they know in unique and possibly more comfortable ways.

April: Month 8 FPE

  1. What changed in your set up from Cycle 1 to Cycle 2? In my set up from Cycle 1 to Cycle 2 I changed a few major things. My Cycle 2 was scheduled to begin after spring break, however my audience became extremely distracted and hard to keep focused and on track. The students were already a difficult group in terms of engagement and after Cycle 1 it was nearly impossible to gather any sort of data/work from them. Therefore, I changed my focus audience. The only difference is that my audience for Cycle 2 was a different, slightly smaller class period. The other change I made was my content I moved from teaching Newton’s Laws of Motion in Cycle 1 to teaching Energy in Cycle 2. At my school we are expected to stay on a timeline with teaching our content, staying alligned with the other grade level teachers in our content area. By the time I started Cycle 2 my fellow science teachers were teaching Energy so I needed to move on.
  2. What’s happening that you did not expect? “Spring Fever” is the most major thing that happened that I did not expect. It has been so hard to keep my students focused, that even with computers, simulations, and other unique teaching strategies getting any kind of enthusiasm from them has become nearly impossible!
  3. How are you tracking data differently? In order to keep better track of my data I have not only posted rubrics on Schoology for my students, but made them accessible for students to use them to grade themselves. I have also started maintaining digital copies of graded work and rubrics rather than doing them by hand and needing to take photos.
  4. How have the concepts and techniques presented in FPE contributed to your capstone project? The techniques in FPE have helped me look at videos in more detail. Rather than simply seeing the story I am more able to analyze the film to see exactly how every part of the filmmaking process contributes to the story. I now have a better understanding of how to create valuable movies that engage students on a deeper level stemming from not only the content, but how the story is shot including music and visual elements.