Exploring Digital Games as a Research and Educational Platform for Replicating Experiments

Steven C. Sutherland, Casper Harteveld, Gillian Smith, Joseph Schwartz, Cigdem Talgar. Exploring Digital Games as a Research and Educational Platform for Replicating Experiments. Proceedings of the 2015 Northeast Decision Sciences Conference (NEDSI 15). Cambridge, MA, March 20-22, 2015. Recipient of David M. Levine Best Paper in Innovative Education Award.

Abstract

Having students create their own experiments is an important way to teach science inquiry and research methods. Additionally, having individuals create experiments to replicate previous research creates a better understanding of the concepts derived from previous findings. Replication is often difficult due to limited access to the necessary tools. However, with the increased prevalence of digital games and the ease with which new games can be modified for research, games offer the promise that individuals will be able to recreate experiments previously difficult to replicate. In this paper we discuss a new digital game, Mad Science, created specifically for novice users with no programming skills to create their own experiments and to recruit and collect data from participants. Our findings suggest that replication of previous findings can be accomplished using this platform and will be a valuable tool for teaching concepts and methods from the decision science literature.

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