Friday, February 18, 2011

Pest Private Eye Game Evaluation

Back in October at the Science Cadre in Hastings, NE, I presented about our educational IPM video game, Pest Private Eye. I told the teachers that if any of them would be interested in using the game in their classrooms or working with us on a project to evaluate the game, to let me know. Kristen, a science teacher from Hastings Middle School, seemed very enthusiastic about the idea and expressed interest in doing something with her science club. We arranged to do the project on Feb 16.

A couple weeks before our arrival, I sent Kristen 35 Pest Private Eye games so that her students could play it ahead of time and be ready for discussion.

For the evaluation, Clyde and I prepared a "clicker" test, using Turning Point Technologies, which allows an audience to directly interact with a Powerpoint and answer questions anonymously. We incorporated questions about pests and IPM to determine content knowledge, as well as game playability questions to find out what students thought about the game characters, music, navigation, ease of use, and other technological issues. Kristen also had the students do a written activity about their experiences with the game.

The students were very eager to give their opinions and we had a great discussion! The children seemed to enjoy the game, and from the survey, it was apparent they had learned a lot about IPM. If there were aspects that seemed unclear, we spent time explaining these concepts in more detail.

Thanks to Kristen and her Hastings Middle School Science Clubbers for playing the game and giving us some valuable feedback! These students are the environmental stewards of tomorrow, and can also have an impact now by encouraging their parents, teachers, and peers to use IPM.

Kristen also mentioned that she plans to use the game again in her classroom in the future!We are excited about all the interest in IPM!

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