Category Archives: Research on Games

Research Finds that Screen Time is as Harmful as … a Potato.

Stop worrying so much about kids playing Fortnite and other games.  New research finds that screen time is as harmful to children as … a potato.

“Researchers at the University of Oxford have performed the most definitive study to date on the relationship between technology use and adolescent mental health, examining data from over 300,000 teenagers and parents in the UK and USA. At most, only 0.4% of adolescent wellbeing is related to screen use – which only slightly surpasses the negative effect of regularly eating potatoes. The findings were published today in Nature Human Behaviour.

“Our findings demonstrate that screen use itself has at most a tiny association with youth mental health,” says lead researcher Professor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. “The 0.4% contribution of screen use on young people’s mental health needs to be put in context for parents and policymakers. Within the same dataset, we were able to demonstrate that including potatoes in your diet showed a similar association with adolescent wellbeing. Wearing corrective lenses had an even worse association.”

In comparison, smoking marijuana and being bullied was found, on average, to have a 2.7 times and 4.3 times more negative association with adolescent mental health than screen use. Activities like getting enough sleep and eating breakfast, often overlooked in media coverage, had a much stronger association with wellbeing than technology use.

The method used by the researchers, called Specification Curve Analysis, revealed the reason there seems to be no firm scientific consensus on screen use and mental health. “Even when using the same datasets, each researcher brings different biases with them and analyses the data slightly differently,” says Amy Orben, College Lecturer at the Queen’s College, University of Oxford, and author on the study. “Of the three datasets we analysed for this study, we found over 600 million possible ways to analyse the data. We calculated a large sample of these and found that – if you wanted – you could come up with a large range of positive or negative associations between technology and wellbeing, or no effect at all.” In other words, “We needed to take the topic beyond cherry-picked results, so we developed an approach that helped us harvest the whole orchard,” adds Przybylski.

In order to remove bias and examine practical significance (rather than statistical significance), the researchers used information from other questions in the same dataset to put the statistical findings on screen use in context. “Research’s reliance on statistical significance can yield bizarre ‘results'”, says Orben. “We need to look at the size of the association to make a judgement on practical significance. If you told me the amount of time a teenager spends on digital devices, I could not do very well predicting their overall wellbeing, as only 0.4% is associated with technology use.”

“Bias and selective reporting of results is endemic to social and biological research influencing the screen time debate,” says Przybylski. “We need to put scientific findings in context for parents, policymakers and the general public. Our approach provides an excellent template for data scientists wanting to make the most of the excellent cohort data available in the UK and beyond.”

Method:

The data was drawn from three large-scale representative datasets: Monitoring the Future (USA), Youth Risks and Behaviour Studies (USA) and the Millennium Cohort Study (UK), totalling over 300,000 individuals surveyed between 2007 and 2016. The findings were derived using Specification Analysis Curve method, which examined the full range of correlations relating digital technology use to child and adolescent psychological wellbeing. Details on methodology and all necessary code to reproduce the analysis are available in the paper’s supplementary material.” – From EurekAlert! Press Release.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/uoo-tue011419.php

 

New Research: Interactive video games help students learn energy conservation better than with traditional pencil and paper methods.

“Knowledge associated with energy conservation is important but it may appear difficult and monotonous to students due to the presence of jargon and complex scientific concepts. This research created two digital question-and-answer games and compared them with a traditional paper-and-pencil learning method to explore how different learning approaches would affect college students’ learning for knowledge of energy conservation. This research conducted a between-subject experiment with random assignment to examine short-term effects of the three different learning methods on motivation, attention, and learning outcomes. The results revealed that participants who played the digital game equipped with more cartoon-style, animated, and interactive features scored significantly higher than the lower-complexity digital game group as well as the traditional paper-and-pencil group on the learning outcome tests. Moreover, in contrast to many previous studies, use of these digital games was not found to affect learning motivation and attention.”

Chen, S. W., Yang, C. H., Huang, K. S., & Fu, S. L. (2017). Digital games for learning energy conservation: A study of impacts on motivation, attention, and learning outcomes. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 1-11.

Read the full research article here;

http://srhe.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14703297.2017.1348960?scroll=top&needAccess=true

 

My Presentation and Hooding at Azusa Pacific University

palmer-azusa-presentation

My presentation on Higher Order Thinking Skills in Digital Games got off to a rough start with the sound system, but fortunately they were able to fix the problem.  The rest of the presentation went well.  I was so happy to have my extended family their to learn more about what I’ve been working on!   Once again the audience had excellent questions about games and learning.

hooding-cerimony

my-hooding-at-azusa

My Hooding Ceremony at Azusa Pacific University – Department of Educational Leadership

family-at-hooding

My family!

 

My Presentation at The California Educational Research Association

cera-badge            I presented my research on Higher Order Thinking Skills in 3 iPad Games, at the California Educational Research Association in Sacramento California.  My room was full of people who asked many thoughtful questions about games and learning.

Higher Order Thinking Skills in Minecraft

Minecraft-Pocket-Edition blooms

I have uploaded my first video to YouTube (please be kind interwebs).

I Identified all three Higher Order Thinking Skills in Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy – analyzing, evaluating, and creating.  In the future, I plan to upload a walk-through  of Bad Piggies and Dragon Box.  These were the games I asked my participants to play for my dissertation on Higher Order Thinking Skills in iPad Games.

Thanks to all! 72 Participants in my dissertation on learning games.

https://i0.wp.com/cmp.ov.click2volunteer.com/Content/109_3/Images/Image.jpg

Yesterday I interviewed participant number 72 for my dissertation on learning games and Higher Order Thinking Skills.

I appreciate all the helpful students at Orangevale Montessori who participated in the research, all the parents who consented to have their children join the study, all the teachers who invited me into their classrooms, and the secretaries and administrators who shared their office space with me.

Thanks to all!

Now, I have much writing to do.

Yay! Today I started interviewing participants for my dissertation!

Higher Order Thinking Skills
in iPad Learning Games

Anthony W. Palmer Ed.D. (Candidate), Researcher
 Institutional Review Board Identification: #94-14

Diagram of the levels within Bloom's Taxonomy Triangle

 

 

It has been a very long journey toward my dissertation.

 

I have completed all the courses for my doctorate.

I have completed my literature review on learning games and higher order thinking skills.

My research committee has approved my dissertation proposal.

The internal review board at my university has approved my application to  conduct the research.

The principal and the teachers have granted me permission to conduct my research at the school.

Over 30 parents have returned their consent forms.

So today…

three students assented to participate in my research on Higher order thinking Skills in iPad learning games!!!

Yay ! ! !

They all did a great job, playing the games and answering my questions.

There would have been more students participating today, but I quickly used up all of the memory on the iPad recording the first three students.

Many students asked if it was too late to turn in their consent forms.  I told them that they still have time.  It seems that many more will join the project before the end of the school year!

It is so good to have passed the necessary bureaucratic hoops and finally be conducting research with students!

So now, more observations, interviews, analysis, synthesis, writing and rewriting.

Yay!

Neurology finds that video games are good for your brain

Dr. Mark Griffiths summarizes recent research on video games and the brain;

“…there is now a wealth of research which shows that video games can be put to educational and therapeutic uses, as well as many studies which reveal how playing video games can improve reaction times and hand-eye co-ordination. For example, research has shown that spatial visualization ability, such as mentally rotating and manipulating two- and three-dimensional objects, improves with video game playing.

To add to this long line of studies demonstrating the more positive effects of video games is a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Vikranth Bejjanki and colleagues. Their newly published paper demonstrates that the playing of action video games – the sort of fast-paced, 3D shoot-em-up beloved of doomsayers in the media – confirms what other studies have revealed, that players show improved performance in perception, attention, and cognition.”

To read the full article from The Conversation click here;

https://theconversation.com/playing-video-games-is-good-for-your-brain-heres-how-34034

The Neurology of Gaming Read the rest of this entry

Mastering Math with Your Body by Using Kinect for Windows

Here is new research to challenge the notion that video games have to be mindless and sedentary.

A new study reveals how students can learn geometry through movement using the Kinect for Windows.

 

“Carmen Petrick Smith, assistant professor of mathematics education (second from left), works with undergraduate education majors on movements that are used to help elementary school children learn geometry (credit: Andy Duback)

University of Vermont assistant professor of mathematics education Carmen Petrick Smith has found in a study that elementary school students who interacted with a Kinect for Windows mathematics program while learning geometry showed significant gains in the understanding of angles and angle measurements…

Smith and her research team engaged 30 third- and fourth-grade students in a series of tasks that involved moving their arms to form angles projected on a large Kinect screen.

The screen changed colors when the students’ arms formed acute, right, obtuse and straight angles. A protractor helped students measure and refine their movements. Students were asked to figure out the hidden rules that made each of the four colors appear on the screen.”

– from http://www.kurzweilai.net/mastering-math-through-movement-using-kinect-for-windows

References:

  • Carmen Petrick Smith, Barbara King, Jennifer Hoyte. Learning angles through movement: Critical actions for developing understanding in an embodied activity. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 2014; 36: 95 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmathb.2014.09.001

Learning angles through movement:

Critical actions for developing understanding in an embodied activity

“Highlights:

Pre- and post-tests showed gains in understanding of angle and angle measurement.

Connections between physical and abstract representations can support learning.

Exploring a variety of physical representations is associated with learning.

Connections between movements and personal experiences can support learning.


Abstract

Angle instruction often begins with familiar, real-world examples of angles, but the transition to more abstract ideas can be challenging. In this study, we examine 20 third and fourth grade students completing a body-based angle task in a motion-controlled learning environment using the Kinect for Windows. We present overall pre- and post-test results, showing that the task enhanced learners’ developing ideas about angles, and we describe two case studies of individual students, looking in detail at the role the body plays in the learning process. We found that the development of a strong connection between the body and the abstract representation of angle was instrumental to learning, as was exploring the space and making connections to personal experiences. The implications of these findings for developing body-based tasks are discussed.

Keywords

  • Learning;
  • Geometry;
  • Embodied cognition;
  • Elementary;
  • Motion-controlled technology”

– From http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0732312314000522

Faculty Biography | Carmen Petrick Smith

Carmen Petrick Smith

Carmen Petrick Smith, Ph.D.

Contact Information:
Waterman 405
(802) 656-1307
Carmen.Smith@uvm.edu

Carmen Petrick Smith is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Vermont. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied the effects of embodied actions on learning geometry. Her research interests center on embodied cognition, games for learning, and STEM education. She is also a former high school mathematics teacher, and in addition to her work in education, she can solve a Rubik’s cube, is a former Guinness World Record holder for dancing the Thriller, and won the 2008 O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships.

13 Principles of Gaming and Learning from James Gee

 

Here is a list of 36 Principles of Learning from James Gee from;

What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy, Palgrave Macmillan: New York, 2003

http://mason.gmu.edu/~lsmithg/jamespaulgee2print.html