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Computer and board game for teaching orientation and cardinal direction in 3rd grade of elementary school

Tamara Gartner (2022) Computer and board game for teaching orientation and cardinal direction in 3rd grade of elementary school. MSc thesis.

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    In class, both in science lessons and in general, it is important that the students are active in the learning process. Teachers implement this in different ways and one of them is using didactic games. These are distinguished from regular games by educational effects which teachers want to achieve with didactic games. To achieve this, teachers need to pay attention to different aspects of didactic games. Proper planning and implementation of didactic games in the classroom brings positive effects such as diversification of lessons, greater motivation of students, better results, more lasting knowledge, etc. Quite a few studies have examined the positive effects that didactic games bring to the classroom. Recently, due to distance learning the subject of didactic computer games has become more frequently studied. For the purpose of the master's thesis, we have created two didactic games – a didactic board game and a didactic computer game. Both didactic games are designed to teach orientation and cardinal directions in the third grade of elementary school and cover the same learning aims. The purpose of research was to determine how teachers and students evaluate didactic games from a visual, motivational, difficulty and content point of view. Because we also wanted to find out how they value playing a didactic game at school in a group or individually on a computer and what they remember as good or bad, we asked both students and teachers some general questions about both didactic games. Our intent was also to evaluate the progress in knowledge after playing one of the two didactic games, the progress in knowledge in individual tasks and the progress according to the learning abilities of students. We were also interested in the extent to which the students acquired the learning aims when playing a particular didactic game. The study involved 22 students from a rural primary school and five teachers from different primary schools. Data were collected through knowledge tests (pretests and posttests), semi-structured interviews and survey questionnaires. We divided the class in half so that in each half there were about the same number of more able learners, average learners and weaker learners. With the students divided into smaller groups, we conducted a knowledge test (pretest) after which each group played a specific didactic game – the first group the didactic board game and the second group the didactic computer game. After playing the didactic games, the same test of knowledge (posttest) followed. Then, we conducted a group semi-structured interview with students divided into smaller groups. Then, the teachers filled in a questionnaire that contained similar questions to those we asked the students in the semi-structured interview. The students and the teachers evaluated both didactic games as aesthetic, attractive, entertaining and professional. Two teachers expressed the opinion that the two didactic games were more suitable for the 4th or 5th grade, while the other three teachers thought that the didactic games were more suitable for playing in the 3rd grade. The qualities of each didactic game were thought of as positive by both the students and the teachers. In the didactic board game, those qualities are competition with classmates, strategic thinking and a clear gradation of the tasks, and in the didactic computer game the qualities are the explanation intertwined with the story of the didactic game, and the possibility to read the instructions as well as listen to them in recordings. According to the results of pretests and posttests, we noticed progress in students’ knowledge after playing both didactic games. By playing the didactic board game, the more capable students progressed the most in knowledge while by playing the didactic computer game, the weaker and average students progressed the most. When it comes to achieving the learning aims, both designed didactic games turned out to be more suitable for the realization of the learning aims directly related to orientation and cardinal directions than the aims related to the wind vane.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: didactic games, didactic board game, didactic computer game, orientation, cardinal directions
    Number of Pages: 159
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Katarina SusmanMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/103012355
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 7143
    Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2022 08:52
    Last Modified: 01 Apr 2022 08:52
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/7143

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