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Using a Ludic Simulation to Make Learning of Middle School Space Science Fun

M. Liu, L. Horton, J. Kang, R. Kimmons and J. Lee
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M. Liu: The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA
L. Horton: The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA
J. Kang: The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA
R. Kimmons: University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA
J. Lee: The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 2013, vol. 5, issue 1, 66-86

Abstract: In this paper, the authors describe a ludic simulation designed for middle school space science and examine its use to support students’ learning and motivation. The participants were 383 sixth graders and 447 seventh graders. The findings of this study showed that sixth- and seventh-graders perceived the simulation as having substantial ludic characteristics and educational value. The results indicated that having a playful experience is important for this age group and that participating in a ludic simulation can help motivate students to learn school subjects. Results also indicated that incorporating ludus into the learning experience can improve students’ attitudes toward the subject matter. Implications of policy, research, and practice with regard to using ludic simulations to support classroom-based learning were discussed.

Date: 2013
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