Designing Serious Games for Chemistry
Blended learning techniques such as game-based learning has always been viewed as an effective tool in various levels from grade school to higher education. However, despite the popularity of gaming in youth and its potential in student engagement and motivation, it has not been exploited extensively particularly in higher education. With these in mind, we develop 'serious games' to be used in chemistry (and possibly other) courses to increase student engagement and motivation, and eventually the learning. Recently, we designed the "PChem Challenge Game" with rather ancient 'snakes and ladders' game mechanics in mind, but transforming it into a unique blend of pure luck and knowledge. The game now is part of the curriculum at Gallaudet and currently, we are testing its efficacy in different institutions across the country. Similarly, the project is being extended to other courses at Gallaudet. An unexpected benefit of the approach has been that it helps improve students' technical ASL since the game requires players to read questions for other players and provide clues when needed.