The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations
and the bewildering variety of games and simulations for science learning available for free or for purchase can leave potential customers confused. The committee recommends the following:
Research to better understand key factors that will enable both theeducation marketplace and the informal learning marketplace toembrace games and simulations for science learning. The goals ofthis research should be to increase understanding of key design features that enhance the appeal and uptake of games and simulationsand market forces that affect adoption across formal and informallearning contexts.
Research and development partnerships should be established to investigate alternative mechanisms for supporting large-scale collaborative innovation in science education based on the use of simulationsand games and to support ongoing improvement in simulations andgames.
Research on the feasibility of systems for informing users or consumersabout the quality and educational effectiveness of simulations andgames designed for science learning, such as expert rating systems.This research should explore the potential of such systems to serve ascatalysts for distribution of high-quality simulations and games.
Institutionalizing Research and Development
To carry out all elements of this research agenda, the committee recommends creating research and development partnerships:
Academic researchers, developers and entrepreneurs from the gamingindustry, and education practitioners and policy makers should formresearch and development partnerships to facilitate rich intellectualcollaboration. These partnerships, which may be large or small,should coordinate and share information internally and with otherpartnerships and should
share resources and tools, thereby reducing costs and allowingreusability;
provide researchers with shared points of access to students andtheir educational records and to informal learners, at the sametime conducting research that assists formal and informal learning institutions;
explore alternative approaches to—and economic models for—extending the life cycle of simulations and games with ongoingupdating and maintenance; and