IGI Global Author Develops CyGaMEs Approach for NASA

By IGI Global on Jul 9, 2012
Dr. Debbie Denise Reese, Senior Educational Researcher at the Wheeling Jesuit University Center for Educational Technologies ® and NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future™ (COTF) in Wheeling, WV, applies cognitive science theory to the design of learning environments and technology tools. Her most recent work is chronicled in a chapter of Dr. Richard Van Eck's book, " Gaming and Cognition: Theories and Practice from the Learning Sciences."

Her contribution, titled, " Introducing Flowometer: A CyGaMEs Assessment Suite Tool," discusses CyGaMEs, onlineinstructional games designed to make concept learning more intuitive whileassessing changes in players' targeted knowledge and self-perceptions of flow. Dr. Reese developed the CyGaMEs approach as lead COTF researcher and project manager supporting NASA eEducation's initiative to study learning and assessment within game-based environments for the 21st learner. Theacronym stands for Cyberlearning through Game-based, Metaphor Enhanced LearningObjects. Dr. Reese's chapter also introduces the CyGaMEs toolset for assessinggame-based learning as realized in Selene:A Lunar Construction GaME and suggests that scholars use the CyGaMEs Selene environment to investigate therelationship between game-based learning and flow.

The Selene project addresses the question: Would young people learn science better if it were packaged in a video game? According to its website, the Selene project was "originally funded by NASA and is now carried on through a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation […] Selene studies video game learning and the waysresearchers can assess how effectively that learning takes place.The Center for Educational Technologies® atWheeling Jesuit University created the Selene online game to see how organizationslike NASA could best use video games to introduce important science concepts."

"Named after the Greek lunar goddess, Selene challenges players to learn the majorgeologic processes scientists believe formed the modern Moon. Players create their own moon and then pepper it with impact craters and flood it with lava. It's a great opportunity for students to learn about lunar geology whilehelping researchers study some key videogame design principles."

To learn more about the Selene project, please visit

To download Dr. Reese's chapter, click here.
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