SPECIAL COLLECTION: INNOVATIONS IN REMOTE INSTRUCTION; Triggering STEM Interest With Minecraft in a Hybrid Summer Camp

H. Chad Lane, Matthew Gadbury, Jeff Ginger, Sherry Yi, Neil Comins, Jack Henhapl, Aidan Rivera-Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigated the application of Minecraft in the context of both in-person and hybrid summer camps for informal science learning. Our work focuses on determining the ways in which digital game-based learning experiences can act as triggers of interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Campers were invited to explore simulations of hypothetical versions of Earth (e.g.,What if theMoon did not exist?), make observations of how these worlds are different from our own, and build habitats suitable for survival on these and other alien worlds. Multiple forms of data, including field notes, interviews, game log data, and in-game knowledge assessments, suggest that many different aspects of the game and informal learning contributed to interest development. In particular, learners were found to have their interest triggered by various in-game and contextual aspects of the learning experiences, such as instructional conversation, novelty, ownership, and challenge. These interest triggers remained constant across in-person and remote camp settings with no consistent differences emerging between the two settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTechnology, Mind, and Behavior
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • educational games
  • engagement
  • informal science learning
  • interest development
  • interest triggering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Communication

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