CO2peration – Structuring a 3D interactive digital game to improve climate literacy in the 12-13-year-old age group

Author(s): Harker-Schuch, I.E.P., Mills, F.M., Lade, S.J., Colvin, R.M.
In: Computers & EducationVolume 144, January 2020, 103705
Year: 2019
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Transformations
Link to centre authors: Lade, Steven
Full reference: Harker-Schuch, I.E.P., Mills, F.M., Lade, S.J., Colvin, R.M. 2019. CO2peration – Structuring a 3D interactive digital game to improve climate literacy in the 12-13-year-old age group. Computers & EducationVolume 144, January 2020, 103705

Summary

Preparing students for their future and qualifying them to enter public life is the essential role of the public-school system. As such, an understanding of climate science ought to be an essential – and significant – component of that preparation. This research proposes a novel pathway to teach climate science via a 3D interactive digital game and examines the potential of 12–13-year olds as a prepatent group for climate science interventions. After playing a proof-of-concept climate science game that covers the physical causes and mechanisms of climate change, 401 students in Austria and Australia were tested with a climate literacy questionnaire.

Our results indicate that climate literacy can be improved in this age group via the digital game. In addition, we found further evidence of established climate science ‘knowledge domains’ in this age group that form a natural ‘increased levels of complexity’ scaffold that can be used to design curricula such as that in the digital game. These four ‘knowledge domains’ are (in brief): Earth in the solar system; gravity and its effect on the atmosphere; albedo and solar radiation, and; greenhouse gases and their warming potential.

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