Death in Rome: Using an Online Game for Inquiry-Based Learning in a Pre-Service Teacher Training Course

Death in Rome: Using an Online Game for Inquiry-Based Learning in a Pre-Service Teacher Training Course

Shannon Kennedy-Clark (Australian Catholic University, Australia), Vilma Galstaun (University of Sydney, Australia) and Kate Anderson (University of Sydney, Australia)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7363-2.ch060


This chapter presents a case study that used an online game in a pre-service science teacher training course in the context of computer-supported inquiry learning. Numerous studies have shown that pre-service teachers complete their education with an inadequate range of skills and knowledge in the use of technology in the classroom. In this study, the authors focus on developing pre-service teachers' skills in using a game to teach students through inquiry-based learning. The game used in this study was Death in Rome, a free to access point-and-click game. In the workshop, the participants were required to complete an inquiry-based learning activity using an online game. Overall, this study shows a positive change in attitudes towards game-based learning in science education.
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Pre-Service Teachers And Game-Based Learning

Before moving further forward in this chapter, it is necessary to explore how pre-service teacher curricula need to change to embed ICT into content specific areas in order to be effective. After providing the background, we will describe our starting point for the studies using game-based learning.

The role of teachers in facilitating the use of ICT is pivotal in the successful implementation of selected technologies in a classroom. Advocates of the use of ICT in education foreground several benefits for the use of ICT in classroom situations. These benefits include that using ICT makes the lesson more interesting, and the novelty factor is linked with a divergence from daily teacher fronted classrooms that can invigorate students (de Winter, Winterbottom, & Wilson, 2010; Dede, Clarke, Ketelhut, Nelson, & Bowman, 2005; Goldsworthy, Barab, & Goldsworthy, 2000; Squire, Barnett, Grant, & Higginbottom, 2004). Using ICT, such as simulations and modeling, can result in better teaching outcomes as students can visualize a situation or concept that may be difficult without additional support (Brack, Elliott, & Stapleton, 2004; la Velle, Wishart, McFarlane, Brawn, & John, 2007; Lowe, 2004; M. E. Webb, 2005; Zacharia, 2003).

Student-centeredness or the development of students as individual learners is seen as a benefit in using ICT in classrooms. Pedagogical factors, such as joint task development, promoting self-management, supporting meta-cognition, fostering multiple perspectives, increased student-student and student-teacher time are seen as the benefits of technology-supported learning in science (Hennessy, Ruthven, & Brindley, 2005; M. E. Webb, 2005). However, there are also numerous barriers and problems for novice teachers and these barriers include the additional time pressure to learn new skills, teacher self-efficacy, lack of technological support within the school, and concern over the pedagogical value of the technology (Barab, Hay, & Duffy, 1998; Davis, Preston, & Sahin, 2009; Dede, 1997).

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