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Meeting MS&T21: Materials Science & Technology
Symposium Online Teaching Best Practices for the COVID Era and Beyond
Presentation Title Virtual Learning in Minecraft: Using a Game to Teach Materials Engineering
Author(s) B. Reeja Jayan, Chad Hershock, Michael C. Melville
On-Site Speaker (Planned) B. Reeja Jayan
Abstract Scope Due to limited laboratory facilities and other constraints (e.g. COVID-19), many engineering students may not have the opportunity to engage with practical, hands-on learning experiences. Although some research suggests that game-based learning can provide students with these pedagogical benefits, much of that work does not directly assess the impact of such games on student learning outcomes. We examine the impact of leveraging a game (MINECRAFT) based virtual laboratory in an advanced, college-level course on materials engineering. Students scored significantly higher on exam items corresponding to content learned using the virtual laboratory space compared to exam content learned only through traditional classroom and homework formats. Our results are consistent with prior work on game based learning in engineering and contribute to the existing research by providing a direct assessment of students’ learning with the game-based experience, suggesting that game-based learning can, indeed, improve learning outcomes in this context.
Proceedings Inclusion? Planned: None Selected


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Virtual Learning in Minecraft: Using a Game to Teach Materials Engineering
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