Date

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Teaching, Learning, and Technology

First Adviser

Bodzin, Alec M.

Other advisers/committee members

Hammond, Thomas C.; Garrigan, Scott; Squire, Kurt D.

Abstract

Mobile science learning games show promise for promoting scientific practices and high engagement. Researchers have quantified this engagement according to flow theory. Using an embedded mixed methods design, this study investigated whether an INPLACE mobile game promotes flow experience, scientific practices, and effective team collaboration. Students playing the game (n=59) were compared with students in a business-as-usual control activity (n=120). Using an open-ended instrument designed to measure scientific practices and a self-report flow survey, this study empirically assessed flow and learner's scientific practices. The game players had significantly higher levels of flow and scientific practices. Using a multiple case study approach, collaboration among game teams (n=3 teams) were qualitatively compared with control teams (n=3 teams). Game teams revealed not only higher levels of scientific practices but also higher levels of engaged responses and communal language. Control teams revealed lower levels of scientific practice along with higher levels of rejecting responses and command language. Implications for these findings are discussed.

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